Letter: The inner city can teach a lot

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The Independent Online
AS A teacher in an inner-city Birmingham comprehensive school with an ever-increasing workload, I only have time to read one newspaper a week in depth. That paper is the Independent on Sunday. It is therefore with dismay and anger that I read your supplement 'Parents' Choice'.

It merely panders to the stereotype that white, upper-middle- class independent schools or comprehensives aspiring to this philosophy are the only institutions that strive for and achieve excellence. It makes no mention of the hard work going on in many inner-city multiracial schools and the efforts made to raise pupils' level of achievement to the highest possible level. How many pupils entering independent schools have reading ages four years below their chronological ages, for example?

Are you suggesting that parents in inner cities move en masse to the Home Counties and somehow find the money to pay for independent schools, or are you not interested in what inner-city parents think?

How many inner-city schools did you visit or collect information from? There is even a factual error. Arthur Terry is not the only Birmingham school to employ a full-time librarian. My own school employs one full-time and one part-time librarian. Is this the only error?

M McMahon

Waverley School, Birmingham

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