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Fund poor to go private

David Bell is absolutely right to call for a funding review with the aim of making more money available to inner-city secondary schools.

By far the best way of achieving this goal would be by putting an appropriate sum of money - say pound;5,000 per pupil - in the hands of families in inner-city areas and allowing them to choose the school suitable for their child.

Such a scheme would enable independent schools in such areas (and there are many of them) to become involved more fully in tackling this acute social and educational problem. The Tories have recently proposed an initiative along these lines. The Government should steal their clothes.

Alistair Cooke General secretary Independent Schools Council Grosvenor Gardens House 35-37 Grosvenor Gardens London SW1

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