Causes of failure

We are failing our children (Special Report, 10 July) because we live in an economy that is dependent on high property and rental values, a minimum wage that does not address the costs of putting a roof over our heads, and an inflexible benefits system which insists that we put our children into childcare.

Education plays a part, but it has been shown that the poorest children have better long-term prospects only if they get the attention they need at school to counterbalance their disadvantage. Britain does not seem to value childhood, teaching professionals, or genuine quality in education.

Ros Garratt
Hay-on-Wye, Powys

This article first appeared in the 24 July 2006 issue of the New Statesman, War - Who can stop it now?