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5th December 2014 at 00:00

It's not charity that state schools need, but equality

I despair of Labour's approach to private schools in England. Of course taxpayers shouldn't prop up privilege, but unless the subsidy can be removed completely the issue should be left alone ("An odd couple could be the perfect pairing", News focus, 28 November).

The Charities Act 2006 was ineffective and the latest proposals by Labour's education spokesman in England, Tristram Hunt, will fail again. If anything, they will be counterproductive because they are predicated on the false assumption that private schools are intrinsically better. Evidence shows that, on average, the private sector spends massive resources doing an easy job moderately well. Collectively, public education does a much more difficult job with greater success at a fraction of the cost.

What private education does do well, and in complete denial of "charitable purpose", is to perpetuate social exclusivity. The patronising suggestion that they should "help" state schools in ways of their own choosing will do nothing to challenge that reality, at the same time as leaving the unjustified subsidy in place. Indeed, it could benefit private schools' own teachers (initially trained at public expense) and encourage mediocre institutions to bask in an undeserved sense of superiority.

Alan Parker

Croydon, Greater London

Short and tweet

Definite highlight of my day was combat aerobics with my S4 girls. #jabs #hooks #uppercuts #jumpkicks #hiyyyyaaa #activegirls

@ems_mcc

Chuffed to be told I'm like Elsa in Frozen, only to discover she's the mean one! Will my DHT [depute headteacher] ever be forgiven?

@ClunieNancy

#PedagooFriday Took Scottish studies class to New Lanark. Proud of what these pupils have achieved this term. Real engagement.

@SheenaOo_888

Is anyone doing the marshmallow and spaghetti challenge?

@P5BenWyvisPS

Remember, Modern Languages Film Club is on today after school in A113. This month: Finding Nemo (in German with English subtitles)

@LHSLanguages

I'm doing the #climatefast today and it would be the day they have my favourite school dinner.

@fraserboyd

Really dislike the terminology "digital native"! It ignores need to support young people in developing critical digital literacy skills. #Ed20Work

@jonbolton

What if we stopped thinking about subjects and started thinking about solving problems, says @CathyNDavidson #curriculumBCN

@joe_bower

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