Rethink foolish expansion plan

19th August 2005 at 01:00
Sir Peter Newsam's excellent letter ("Commissioner dubs school expansion policy 'misguided'", TES, August 5). exposes yet another example of this Government's failure to think through a policy before rushing ahead.

If you take the logic of the policy to its extreme you can imagine in an area there being only one secondary that all parents want their child to go to. Imagine the chaos that would cause and the cost.

All the evidence indicates that parents are fickle in their definition of a "good school". In this area, especially in primaries, a school may be popular for a time and then fall down the pecking order. Imagine the cost of having to increase accommodation in one school only for the need to fall away a few years down the liine.

One of the greatest dangers of this policy is the creation of middle-class ghetto schools. Articulate middle-class parents will get children into the school of their choice and the children of less articulate parents will find themselves in the run-down, underfunded school.

So Ms Kelly, why not for a change have a policy that is economically sound, educationally sound and does not further disadvantage the lower classes? You know it makes sense!

Rescind the expansion policy before too much damage is done and too much public money is wasted.

Phil Baker

326 The Cullerns Highworth, Swindon

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