Letter: Education for a rich elite

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your article on "phoney addresses and religious conversions" (17 April) caught my attention as for several years I served as a governor of a local Church of England infants' school with special responsibility for admissions. This was, and still is, a highly popular school which therefore had to apply strict criteria for admission.

We used a simple way of a verifying a child's home address which requires more than a compliant friend to falsify; that is, to insist on seeing the child benefit book or document for that particular child. When an offer of a place was made, the parent or carer was asked to return the acceptance in person and at the same time to show the child benefit document to the school secretary; if they declined to do this, the offer of a place would be withdrawn. I believe that in this way we were able to eliminate the sort of dishonesty over addresses described in your article.

JOANNA FRENCH

London SE21

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