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Private patrons

For years, Anthony Seldon has been expressing outrage that parents with above-average incomes should choose to send their children to state schools, whether non-selective or selective. He feels it is their moral duty to have their children educated privately with their own kind, and means-testing state education (TES, June 22) would help to propel the middle class to where they belong - in, say, Brighton College or Wellington College.

The vision of missionary academies for the less fortunate operating under the wing of independent schools has Victorian roots and surfaces from time to time; it is not ignoble, but it is, literally, "patronising" and sits oddly with Mr Seldon's stated disapproval of "education apartheid".

Andy Connell

Cumbria

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