Oxford changes

31st January 2003 at 00:00
I wish to correct the false impression given by your report of a Sutton Trust study headed "Elite recruits go private" (TES, January 10).

Oxford University's department of educational studies would by any criteria be said to be producing "elite recruits". Of 464 recruited in the three years to 2002, 146 were Oxbridge.

Hardly any, however, have chosen to enter the private sector, the vast majority preferring to teach in comprehensives. That is due to the deep commitment of this university to close partnership with local comprehensive schools.

The study's authors also need to question their hasty assumption that the most highly qualified teachers are Oxford graduates. We select many students from "less prestigious" universities in preference to Oxbridge applicants.

Professor Richard Pring Director Department of education studies University of Oxford 15 Norham Gardens, Oxford

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