Letter: A lesson in excellence and European ideals

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The Independent Online
Sir: What a pity that, when Britain's European School finally comes to the attention of a national newspaper, it is by the pen of a reporter so determined as Leonard Doyle to exaggerate every fault and ignore every virtue.

The high cost of the school results mainly from the fact that non-British staff are supposed to need inducements and compensation, because they are considered to be working abroad - a fiction to whose perpetuation our own nationalistic government contributes strongly with its resistance to European integration. Take away that anomaly and there will be every justification for continuing to subsidise education in other languages, which otherwise would be beyond the reach of most children who need it.

In writing to you, we have to declare an interest: we have sent all our five children to Culham. This was not for any non-existent perks, but because it was the only way we could give them an education in both their mother tongue (French) and their father tongue - and escape from the appalling English system, with its choice between elitist public schools and under- funded state schools, and with its strait-jacket of A-levels.

Yours faithfully,

LUCILE STEWART

PHILIP STEWART

Boars Hill, Oxfordshire

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