While generally I was cheered by your article about Thatcher ("From 'milk snatcher' to pioneer of autonomy", 12 April), I wish you had not joined the succession of people who credit Jim Callaghan with opening up the idea that the government should enter the "secret garden" of the curriculum. Former education secretary Sir David Eccles was the first, as is shown in this quote from Hansard on 21 March 1960: "For this purpose we shall need to undertake inside the Department more educational research and to strengthen our statistical services. Crowther, in paragraph 697 of the Report, prodded us to do this and action is now in hand. In the meantime, the section in the Report on the sixth form is an irresistible invitation for a sally into the secret garden of the curriculum."
Actually, his comment was sparked by the launch of the first USSR spacecraft, and a Washington meeting of Western education ministers wondering what the USSR was doing in its schools to produce people who could manage that feat.
Norman Thomas, Hertfordshire.