Letters - The posh want to be partners

I am sorry to see that Francis Beckett ("Is Tony Blair a Tory on education?", 27 September) disapproves of partnership schemes between independent and maintained schools, and picks out Ampleforth, "Britain's poshest Catholic school". Why foment social division? In fact, the funding for partnership schemes has been modest by government standards. In the case of Ampleforth's partnerships with two Catholic maintained schools, between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of the cash grant has gone to the maintained school. That has enabled genuinely co-operative endeavours in maths and music, to the gain of every pupil involved.

Another article in the same issue of the NS by Anthony Giddens, "How to deal with the rich", is more sympathetic to the initiatives that have emerged over the past seven years and advocates integration.

If by "integration" is meant co-operation,

well and good. The independent sector has been looking for that for a long time.

Fr Leo Chamberlain
Master, St Benet's Hall
Oxford University
(Headmaster of Ampleforth, 1992-2003)