David Redshaw says the existence of a fee-paying sector keeps this country in the educational and social dark ages, Jane Moorhouse suggests all children have the right to a decent education, and Dr Ambrose Smith points out the reality of funding cuts
The headmaster of Colfe’s School says he would welcome a debate about the role of independent schools within our education system (Letters, 18 June). The debate is simple. As long as rightwing governments continue to close state school playing fields, cut the education budget to below first-world standards and generally make life difficult for state schools, they will flounder. By contrast, the well-funded private schools will provide even more state-of-the-art facilities and more middle-class parents will bankrupt themselves in order to get their children into these institutions.
The pleas from the Independent Schools Council about bursaries and assisted places are just tokenism. The continued existence of a private fee-paying sector is a big part of what keeps this country in the educational and social dark ages. It’s 70 years since Churchill and RA Butler failed to grasp this particular nettle. The only good thing that might be said about Brexit is that it may finally force us to confront these systemic problems in our national life – but at what cost.