The remark by Nicholas Pyke (TES, February 24) that "in order to qualify for VA status, schools must be up and running at an acceptable level before the state will consider paying for it" may hold true for Muslim schools, but not for other faith schools.
For example, in 1991, within the span of one month (in May and June), the Jewish communities in the London boroughs of Redbridge and Enfield were given state funding for two Jewish schools, even though they had no school "up and running" as they had applied for funding to start from scratch. Gillian Shephard is no different from her predecessors where Muslim schools are concerned. Her rejection of Feversham College with lame excuses does not make her "markedly more encouraging" towards Muslim schools than her predecessor, John Patten.
A J VERSI Editor, The Muslim News PO Box 380 Harrow, Middlesex.