Far-fetched link

21st July 1995 at 01:00
Nick Holdsworth's attempt to link the proposed new secondary school in Chelsea with the candidate selection process for the new Kensington and Chelsea Parliamentary seat is as risible as it is far-fetched (TES, July 7).

We have been talking about a new school in Chelsea for six years. We started to focus on an independent school specialising in foreign languages about three years ago - two years before the Boundary Commission reached its decisions in its current review.

It is a pity Mr Holdsworth appears to have allowed himself to have become so obsessed with the deemed "political advantage" of our plans that he found no time to discuss the educational issues. In a nutshell, the predicted shortfall of 2,000 places in 2000 is exacerbated in the here and now by a chronic lack of choice for our parents. Mr Holdsworth's claims to have been hearing from "teachers in three county schools" in the north of the borough about our "political vendetta" through our inspectorate should be treated with caution. There is only one county secondary school in the north of the borough - none in the south.

Instead of waiting for the millennium, parents could be offered the choice we know they want in a couple of years. By allowing the local authority to "buy in" places in an independent school, the Government will avoid any capital expenditure by merely underwriting the existing revenue cost commitment.

What we are now seeing on the King's Road is not just altruism - it is enthusiasm.

ADRIAN J A D FITZGERALD Chairman, education and libraries committee Royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall Kensington

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