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It's the fees, stupid

Loath as I am to step in to the public v private education debate I cannot let William Richardson's final comment in his letter go. ("Excuses? We're doing our bit, say independents", 19 October). His parting shot following his critique of Gerald Kelly's editorial was: "Mr Kelly rightly says that 'most independents are bloody good schools'. As the Clinton administration might have said: 'It's the independence, stupid.'" No it's not. It's the fees. Independent schools are part of our tradition and I defend the right of parents to have that choice, but let's not pretend that it's the independence rather than the funding that gives them the edge.

Steve Cleave, Headteacher, Compton CofE Primary School, Plymouth.

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