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Together we can close the gap

Thank you for your well-argued and pragmatic editorial on the issues surrounding stateprivate sector education and social mobility ("Forget the class warfare and the guilt", January 29).

You are correct that private schools should not apologise for seeking to excel. The NHS provides a socially acceptable model for state and paid-for care and we hope that education can follow suit.

You point out that shadow schools secretary Michael Gove is encouraging independent and maintained schools to work together. In future, the approach of the Charity Commission might support this development, which can only improve the opportunities available to young people.

There has been a sea change in education. State schools are just as concerned about their budgets as private institutions in the current climate. Schools of all kinds have put teaching, learning and pastoral support at the centre of all that we do. Now all kinds of schools seem more likely to collaborate in achieving their aims. Perhaps the perceived gap between the two sectors is closing.

Let's hope that the schemes and partnerships between the sectors continue to develop. Just by existing, such partnerships offer hope and inspiration to whole communities.

Julie Robinson, Headmistress,Vinehall Preparatory School, East Sussex, and vice-chair, the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools.

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