In his editorial (November 19), Gerard Kelly maintains that variation of standards within a school must be down to the quality of teaching.
I would venture to suggest that there is another factor, which became more pronounced with the introduction of "specialist" schools. Such schools are likely, by their very definition, to show a bias towards particular curriculum areas. This could manifest itself in favoured subjects receiving a greater proportion of the resources budget, or the optimum slots on the timetable, or a disproportionate share of teaching time, or more support staff and technicians etc.
A French teacher may be a very good French teacher, but they will find it an uphill struggle if modern foreign languages are considered a low priority in a school focusing on technology.
David Rowlands, Retired headteacher, Lydbrook, Gloucestershire.