Letter: Blair's choice

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The Prime Minister's choice for his daughter of a high-achieving school seven miles from his home is very much a matter of public interest in the light of the difficulties many parents face at this time of year ("Blair protests to PCC about school story", 25 January).

As a Catholic parent in a borough where the Labour-controlled authority has decided to discontinue funding 70 places for Catholic children at a high-achieving school seven miles from my home and outside the borough I am fascinated by the story. The effect will be to deny a significant number of children a Catholic education, a choice which the Blairs apparently hold precious. As a resident of a borough where a selective 11-plus system is retained but under threat due to government legislation I also note that the Prime Minister's daughter had allegedly taken some form of test to assess her ability.

He has made pragmatic and understandable efforts to attain the best education for his children in the state system. Many parents strive to do the same. To pretend that in some way his choice signifies a commitment to state education is unpalatable. Only when we have "education, education, education" for all children, regardless of wealth and social background, in a system which respects the able, can his own views and his party's policies be respected.

PETER MONAGHAN

Manchester

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