Every school has its story totell about balances (TES, February 10). Dunraven School is a grant-maintained school in Lambeth. Fifty per cent of our students are entitled to a free lunch (compared to a national average of 18 per cent). There are currently 37 home languages.
It is correct that we planned carefully to carry forward a balance in 19934. Our governing body was right to think and act strategically in the interests of all our students and our committed staff.
First, we are managing the consequences of the LEA's closure of the sixth forms in this borough, including planning for the subsequent loss of a significant proportion of the school's income.
Second, after years of neglect, we have planned a phased programme of building works to begin to address the estimated Pounds 2.5 million required.
Third, as we join the common funding formula, issues arising from Lambeth's budget and formula, centrally-held services and other funding issues are being addressed. Meanwhile, our training and enterprise council, South Thames, is in receivership.
The "playing field" in South-west London includes many private schools, four city technology colleges, magnet schools, voluntary schools and GM schools -many of which, incidentally, are able to test and interview applicants.
The internal tests (not entry tests as reported in The TES of February 10) we are giving 11-year-olds are providing valuable baseline data. At this time of national concern about budgets, they give further evidence of where well-targeted attention, funding and time need to be directed most - to the early years, both in school and in the home.
and senior management team
94-98 Leigham Court Road