Be consistent

31st October 1997 at 00:00
Your October 17 issue shows an odd sense of priorities. First the story "Charisma no basis for reform, says firm". I cannot believe that what one profit-making company thinks of the Government's White Paper is of any real interest in the great scheme of things and certainly not in terms of front-page news.

Next, your editorial "Look back with regret" asks: "Is local management dead?", then goes on to conclude that it is, and that the past 10 years may have been a "brief flowering".

This contrasts markedly with your other front-page item relating to the chaos of the competitive market at 16-plus. Furthermore, if your view is that the previous government's grant-maintained experiment represented "greater democratisation", you seriously fail to represent the overwhelming reality of the education service in this country today.

And on what basis do you deduce from the White Paper and from what ministers are saying that local management of schools is dead? The White Paper and the technical consultation paper quite clearly say the opposite. Views may differ about the rightness of the current LMS model, but it is clear that local decision-making will remain except where institutional self-interest for the few would do damage or unfairness to the many. If, as it seems, your newspaper misrepresents that position, too, it is doing a further, and great disservice.

KEITH MITCHELL Director of education County Hall Durham

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