White paper will hurt the poorest

3rd February 2006 at 00:00
* The "independence" of the larger private schools is not the reason that they get "top results" and place many alumni in high positions. As Anthony Seldon well knows, fees of pound;20k-plus let them employ 45 more teachers per 1,000 pupils. The "success" of their alumni is still helped by connections, what used to be known as "old boy" networks.

Interestingly, he does not discriminate between the powerful wealthy schools he patronises and the seedy, pretentious institutions which make up much of the private sector. I wonder why?

Nor should he assume that only Labour MPs, unions and local government are against Blair's fantasies. A very large number of folk in the wider world are up in arms as well.

This is not because of "politics" or "ideology" but because we do not want the system he tries to champion: comfortable in its privilege and and neglecting the needs of most children.

DTP Mitchell Vice-chair, Socialist Educational Association 51 Falcon Avenue, Bedford

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