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Here's an idea: learn how schools function

Claire Fox may be director of the Institute of Ideas but she doesn't have much idea about how schools and education function ("An art-free EBac is not the end of the world", Comment, 22 March).

Does she not realise that as soon as something does not count towards a school's score in the points race it is no longer taught? It is deemed to be uneconomic, redundant and irrelevant. Furthermore, schools struggling to jump the Ofsted hurdle will be the first to ditch the "unnecessary" arts, thus narrowing the artistic opportunities even further for less affluent students. Ms Fox rubbishes Grayson Perry's wise words that "it is the children from poorer homes who will be disproportionately deprived of exposure to culture", ignorant of the fact that, for some children, school is the only exposure to culture they get. She also seems ignorant of the fact that arts GCSEs are already optional in most schools, and dependent on teaching at and before key stage 3 to draw students in to doing them. I have seen the erosion of the arts, which is increasingly starting in primary schools. I know of a local primary where, after a poor inspection, plays were cancelled so that students could do more practice papers for end-of-key-stage tests. But Ms Fox wouldn't see a connection between the dropping of "optional" arts and a school's desperation to please inspectors.

Paul Ingleton, Head of music, Borden Grammar School, Kent.

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