Writing about the private sector, David Hanson, chief executive of the Independent Association of Prep Schools, says: "It is a wise school that ... determines that, being absolutely objective, competing local schools will be better placed to meet the needs of the community and secure their long-term future if they combine," ("Merging independents can be a hard but wise step", Letters, 25 January). In other words, one good local school may be better able to thrive and meet children's educational needs than diverse schools competing to drive each other out of business. What an interesting idea. Perhaps it could be applied in the state sector.
Dr Janet Dobson, Senior research associate, University College London.