Letter: Hint from the Government: get out of that state school

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The Independent Online
Sir: In response to your leading article on education (27 January), I draw your attention to one of the more cruel aspects of selection and choice in our education system.

I recently came across a copy of the Government's guide to its supported places scheme, which funds private education for selected individuals who could not otherwise afford it. The front of the pamphlet suggested some criteria for parents to consider.

As I have a five-year-old son at school I was horrified to see, top of the list: "Is your child intelligent?" Does this mean that if my son is intelligent, the state system will probably fail him? The suggestion seems to be: "Get him out now before too much damage is done."

The next thought was that my son's access to a "superior" education system is dependent on his intelligence, whereas for 99 per cent of private school pupils it is merely the size of the parents' wallet.

How can we continue to justify the privatisation of standards in education according to wealth?

ANDREW BARRINGTON

Harrow, Middlesex

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