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* John Mair ("Bringing them up a peg", TES, September 12) identifies an important problem but his solution does not go far enough. Pupils in secondary schools need a home base for socialising and learning as well as hanging their coats up.

The base should include computers, attractive lockers, reasonably comfortable chairs, shelves for learning materials, display boards for work, a games cupboard, and should probably also include a sink and drinks facility. Most lessons in most subjects should be taught here and pupils should be encouraged to use the base at playtimes.

The fact that most people would regard these proposals as preposterous only goes to show we are not serious about making schools learning communities.

Professor John Quicke 44 Woodholm Road, Sheffield

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