Independent schools and inequality go hand in hand

Gerard Kelly doesn't go far enough in his strictures on the self-serving, self-congratulatory and thoroughly complacent assertions from Barnaby Lenon, the chair of the Independent Schools Council ("Sharing their privilege? It's the least they can do", Editorial, 16 August). Nowhere in Mr Lenon's whining piece is there any hint that British independent schools are less than perfect or have any weaknesses. However, there is one. They are fundamentally unjust; they serve the already privileged and discriminate against the rest.

What is "so wrong" is not the system of fair access quotas to universities but the acceptance of marked inequality in educational provision as an inevitable, unavoidable fact of life. Those of us opposed to independent education as a matter of principle believe education is so important to a person's well-being that no one should be able to buy good quality provision for their children if by doing so they make it less likely for others to receive it. It is as simple, as straightforward and, in the current climate, as unfashionable as that.

Colin Richards, Spark Bridge, Cumbria.

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