As for research which found that children prefer books of their own choosing to those chosen for them by teachers: as Basil Fawlty might have put it, more research to find out the bleedin' obvious. How about having one period a week for quiet reading, with the pupils allowed to read anything they like as long as they read something?
Also, on the subject of school uniforms, covered in the same edition of your paper ("Why go to blazers?) - do schools need them? In a word, no.
Schools such as King Edward VI in south Devon, St Paul's girls school and Camden school for girls, both in London, and Summerhill school, Suffolk, all manage without them.
I was bullied at a school with one. And if the school hadn't had a uniform, my parents would have saved some money on my clothes. I presume the same phoney arguments apply in non-uniform-wearing countries such as France and Italy.
As a libertarian, I have no great enthusiasm for equality but very great enthusiasm for freedom of choice.
Mark Taha Sydenham, London