Help us battle segregation

9th June 2006 at 01:00
* So Trevor Phillips is banging on about segregation again - this time in Birmingham schools.

It's perhaps unfortunate that The TES has given him publicity, because it looks as if he has selected the facts to fit his theory, as more attention to his geography would have shown him.

In 2005, of the seven secondary schools closest to Birmingham city centre, four have a school population with no more than 50 per cent from either Asian, African and Caribbean or white heritage. One selective grammar school has 50 per cent white pupils, but very few African and Caribbean heritage pupils. The most "segregated" school is a girls' comprehensive (over 90 per cent Asian heritage), but there are no schools where "the vast majority" are white. All are successful schools, some brilliantly so.

These seven schools are within a 2.7km radius of Birmingham Cathedral (yes we do have one!). But you'd get a different result looking at the 11 schools in a 3km radius, or if you started from a different central point.

So it all depends on which schools you choose and what you define as "balance" - as well as how hard you are looking for segregation.

Dr John Hopkin

30 Greenhill Road

Moseley, Birmingham

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