LETTERS: Buying into education

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The Independent Online
From Professor Brian Simon

Sir: Andrew Marr's contention ("Egalitarians vs angry parents", 5 October) that the number of people who "buy themselves out" of comprehensive education has risen enormously will not wash. About 500,000 children have attended private schools consistently over the past 40 years and more. Forty years ago, were these "buying themselves out" of the tripartite system with its 1,000-plus glorious grammar schools?

When Marr says that the real question for supporters of state education is to "bring them back" the answer must be - they were never there. This is, admittedly, the cancer at the heart of the English educational system, and needs to be dealt with with determination. But in no way whatsoever is it due to comprehensive education.

Yours sincerely,

Brian Simon

Emeritus Professor

University of Leicester


6 October