Letter: Choice of schools

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Gerald Kaufman is disingenuous. He claims that he does not advocate the abolition of grammar schools. But he doesn't have a good word to say for them.

He complains that members of the Royal Family have visited independent but not state schools in his Manchester constituency. But on the day that the Prince of Wales most recently visited Manchester Grammar School (in April this year) he also visited a nearby state school, Ducie High in Moss Side, with which MGS has a fruitful partnership.

He says the assisted places scheme "pumped" nearly pounds 2.5m a year of public money into three independent schools in his constituency. But he fails to point out that this is not enough to cover the full costs of educating pupils on assisted places, who are therefore subsidised by parents paying the full fees.

It follows, therefore, that (contrary to his article) public money was not enough to provide the schools' facilities either, which are, of course, used by assisted pupils and fee-payers alike.


National Director, Independent Schools Information Service

London SW1