We cannot opt out of chaos and inequality

10th July 1998 at 01:00
For many years, as active members of Parents Opposed to Opting-out, which was dissolved earlier this month, we supported parents involved in ballots for grant-maintained status and, we believe, played a positive role in discrediting this divisive policy.

By helping parents to win ballots in their schools, we stopped the potential domino effect and prevented most local education authorities from being taken over by the quango, the Funding Agency for Schools.

We feel that the Government has betrayed not only us, but also the 95 per cent of schools who resisted the bribes that grant-maintained status offered and by continuing to support the "autonomous" school, it simultaneously erodes the power of local government.

The failure of the "Interim Guidance on School Admissions" to act decisively against the existing partial selection created by grant-maintained status is a disgrace.

We just hope that the Government's optimism about education "forums", made up of co-operating grant-maintained schools and local education authorities, is not misplaced.

Introducing foundation schools, which will own their own land and continue to be their own admissions authority, will only increase the chaos and inequality that grant-maintained status created.

Helen Webster Angela Milroy 7 Queen Edith's Way Cherry Hinton Cambridge

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