Out of the clouds

With reference to Francis Beckett's article "Parents dare to challenge selection" (17-31 December), your readers may all have a view on selective education. But let's not by association cloud their view of standards in Kent, and let's get one or two inaccuracies sorted out.

First, the proportion selected for grammar schools in the county is set at a quarter, not a third. Second, you need to balance David Jesson's research with that of Schagen and Schagen (NFER, 2001), which shows that borderline pupils do better, particularly at Key Stage 3, in grammar schools. Third, the government - and this LEA - spends more on schools in Kent - weak, strong or otherwise - as we have more schools than any other authority. Our secondary schools as a whole perform better than the national average.

This may be because of, in spite of, or nothing to do with selection. But let's not belittle the magnificent efforts of teachers in our 102 secondary schools by misinformation.

Dr Ian Craig
Acting strategic director
Kent County Council