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The pursuit of status

I am afraid that I was misquoted in your coverage last week of the reaction to the White Paper proposals for a new framework for schools. I said that we felt that the combination of the new foundation category for schools and the process of choice for governing bodies and parental ballots if wanted would mean that too many schools would "still be preoccupied with the sterile pursuit of status". I suppose some would say that this is also "puerile" but that is not what concerns the Society of Education Officers.

The decision to have community, foundation and aided schools will in the end be a political one. The SEO is arguing as strongly as it can for a framework which will do what the Government wants, that is, concentrate our minds on standards and not on the unproductive diversions about structure. If the decision is to create three categories of school then do it - don't leave the system in limbo for another two years of internal wrangling.

DAVID CRACKNELL

President Society of Education Officers

Boulton House 17-21 Chorlton Street Manchester

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