State wrongs

Debates about education rarely get to the heart of the matter, so it was a pleasure to see George MacBride raising a number of important issues in his article "Out of the comfort zone" (TESS, last week).

State education desperately needs real competition. At present private education accounts for a mere 8 per cent of provision. A healthier mix would see the state deliver a third, the independent sector another third, with the balance made up of all kinds of niche provision. State funding would accompany the student wherever they went. That way everybody would get the education they wanted.

Diversity in state education seems to me to be almost a contradiction in terms. After all, the state has had 130 years to get it right.

And if Mr MacBride and the post-modernists are correct and it is the whole edifice of schools which causes social exclusion and other ills, then only a radical remodelling of the structure can put things right.

Ostap Melnick

Lister Gardens, Glasgow

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