Honest debate

22nd March 1996 at 00:00
The debate about parental choice of schools, and how it affects senior members of the Labour party and its hangers-on, needs to be a bit more honest.

Most of those who argue for parental choice do it for social, not educational reasons. Whether exercised in favour of independent schools, grant-maintained schools, or "more favourably situated" comprehensives, it is a device which enables white middle-class parents to ensure that their children are educated in the company of the children from a similar background.

However much disadvantaged schools improve their performance, they will never be "good enough" for these parents, because they will always contain too many children from working-class or ethnic-minority backgrounds.

J W BATESON Principal, Hillcrest School and Community College Netherton, Dudley West Midlands

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