Hague's strange selection stance;Letter

24th September 1999 at 01:00
WILLIAM Hague has strange ideas about winning votes for his education policy.

The Tory leader recently visited Graveney school in Tooting which has been forced by the local adjudicator to stop selecting half of its intake and then giving most of the rest of the places to their siblings. Large numbers of children were recruited from outside the school's original catchment area. Fewer than 20 pupils a year were offered places on the basis of distance from the school.

Even the children of staff gained places on "social grounds" ahead of local people. Partial selection in Wandsworth meant that, according to one survey more than 140 local children, were still withoutsecondary places in July.

A local parents' campaign backed by the local Labour party convinced the adjudicator to stop this madness.

For Hague and his fellow Tories an attack on unfair selection policies is an attack on "excellence". Graveney will now have an opportunity to deliver excellent results for local children regardless of ability.

James Whiting, Tooting Labour Party, 26 Tantallon Road, London SW12

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