Public school caricature

25th June 2004 at 01:00
Francis Beckett really should get out more. Before caricaturing partnership between independent and state schools ('To them that hath more shall be given", TES, June 11) as "state schools get public-school methods; public schools get state money", he should take a closer look at some of the partnerships which the Government's modestly-funded scheme has sponsored.

He could ask children from Loughborough primaries whether they thought that "public school methods" was all they got from maths master-classes run by Loughborough grammar school.

Or whether the head of West Gate community college, on Tyneside, was deluded in thinking that the partnership scheme which got talented scientists from local schools in both sectors working together was "a great opportunity for pupils to work with their peers from other schools who have similar abilities and interests in science".

Staff in both independent and maintained schools are overwhelmingly of the view that it is their pupils - and their own professional practice - that has benefited from well-thought out partnership schemes.

Richard Davison Director of communications Independent Schools Council Grosvenor Gardens House 35-37 Grosvenor Gardens London SW1

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