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Excellent record

Your article "Excellence in Cities is mediocre", (TES, April 22) failed to recognise the significant improvements made by Excellence in Cities and education action zones.

In South Tyneside the rate of improvement in our schools is 2 per cent higher than other schools in the borough which in turn improved at 5 per cent above the national average rate.

As a result of other EiC initiatives such as Gifted and Talented, 52 more children from this borough went on to higher education last year, compared with the number pre-EiC.

It is insulting to those who work in EiC to suggest they have "compounded problems" for all young people. When the future of EiC funding is under consultation, such an out-of-date study, which flies in the face of other evaluations, is not helpful.

If EiC were to disappear, the gains made in deprived areas would be lost.

If ministers decide to extend this funding into schools they certainly will be "doing something to tackle the problems associated with deprivation."

Lynne Howe Excellence in Cities director, South Tyneside Chute Ede Educaiton Centre Galsworthy Road, South Shields

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