LETTER : Pricey pupils

From Mr David Wallace

Sir: Alas, your leader writer has a nasty shock coming ("Spare the cash, spoil the parent", 11 May). Oh for the comparatively inexpensive days of primary school clothes and party bags. They cost but nothing in comparison with the riotous living of prodigal adolescence.

And who are the instigators? Not so much the "smarmy ad executives" you adduce, more the state schools we sent them to for free education.

It cost £500 for my daughter to crawl round a glacier somewhere near the North Pole in search of an A grade in A-level geography; £115 for her to attend a music festival that will "greatly assist" her chances in A-level music, and £32 a month for extra piano lessons in the same pursuit; £16 plus fares to attend an "essential" production at the Royal Shakespeare Company; £10 to attend a debate in London organised by the Independent, which, while I am on the subject, is not entirely free of blame.

The healthy food you frequently recommend for the nourishment of children grows ever more expensive. And last week your fashion pages had the gall to feature Tank Girl.

Yours faithfully,

DAVID WALLACE

Hove,

East Sussex

11 May

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