As someone who has been headteacher of both specialist and non-specialist schools, I am in no doubt that having a specialism does make a difference across the whole curriculum (Sir Peter Newsam, Inbox, June 6).
Money helps. Used properly, it allows schools to develop their specialism, identify new ways of teaching and learning and disseminate what works across all subjects.
But the specialist schools programme is much more than money. Specialist schools status is a catalyst for development and innovation. Bidding for specialist status and regaining it after three years requires schools to examine their own plans and strategy for the future, and also how they will work with the wider community. Collaboration between schools and with universities and businesses is at the centre of the specialist programme. All of this contributes to improving the life chances of all students.
Michael Wilkins, Executive principal, Outwood Grange College, Wakefield.