Private sector has fair share of talent

YOUR headline "Young, gifted, talented - and from state schools" (TES, June 28) seems simultaneously patronising and misleading.

There is no indication of where the original 520 applicants for the Gifted and Talented Academy were drawn from, and the description of the selection process as being based on national test scores, the American college entry test, world-class tests and teacher recommendations, suggests that the cohort was largely state-school based in the first place: many, if not most, independent senior schools do not take the key stage 3 tests.

As a mother with children at both independent and state schools, and a teacher with contacts in both, I have certainly received no information about this academy, despite the undoubted eligibility of several of the children I know.

It seems to me that the article's statistical information regarding the backgrounds of the successful candidates can be no reflection of the distribution of "intellectual ability" (whatever this term may mean) among state and independent pupils, ethnic minorities or any other group.

Incidentally, while race and class are mentioned, gender is studiously ignored. Is there something we should be told?

Clare Wikeley 29 Five Elms Drive Romsey, Hampshire

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