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Weary answer to the sum

Staff in sixth-form and further education colleges will find the Government statistics quoted by Lucy Ward and James Montgomery incomprehensible (TES, July 19).

The Government suggests that a three-A-level course in a sixth-form college costs Pounds 6,445 per student. As vice-principal at Cadbury Sixth Form College I wearily and exasperatedly record: * Total income: Pounds 3,200,000 (odd pennies, I suggest, do not matter); * Student numbers: 1,300; Since more than 90 per cent of our students take three A-levels, perhaps the Government statistician could explain the process by which Pounds 3,200,0001,300 converts to Pounds 6,445 per student.

I offer the figure of Pounds 2,460 per student on a three-A-level course. If it wasn't so serious, you wouldn't know whether to laugh or cry.

S T HOSFIELD Vice-principal Cadbury Sixth-Form College 8 Beech Road, Bournville Birmingham

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