Letter: Rich kids

Kate Sampson's report on working mums and their children did much to assuage my, and no doubt other middle-class mums', guilt ("For God's sake, mum, get a job", Real Life, 16 February). I flattered myself that my intellect and energy were better used outside the home. Did our children suffer or do worse in their exams? I do not and will never know.

The report on which the Panorama programme was based was, however, not about the relatively privileged, as was the case for all the children interviewed, all from independent schools, who spoke of au pairs and nannies. Professor O'Brien's research looked at schools in Barking and Dagenham, very unlike the areas inhabited by the children interviewed. The issues are complicated and concern deprivation, class, family structures, low pay and the very difficult dual role which many women have to face alone.

E J de Swiet

Henrietta Barnett School

London NW11

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