Decent education

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Flora Scarabello’s letter (4 February) about the dumbing down of educational standards is a model of how to write – it’s cogently argued, succinct and grammatically elegant.

If she learned how to do this at St Mungo’s High School, her teachers ought to be very proud of her, and bask in her reflected glory. If she taught herself to write and reason with such clarity and style, she clearly doesn’t need any more conventional schooling, and if Education Secretary Michael Gove has any sense he would snap her up to be the new Ofsted chief.

(Dr) Mary Brown

Dalvenie Road

Banchory

Every child with academic aptitude in 1950s Scotland had access to excellent secondary schooling, whether they lived in the coalfields, a council estate or the remote Highlands.

As the four sons of an ex-miner, we went from the village school to leading universities in the UK and the US via the local “grammar” school and then on into the professions.

Today, the only way parents in that mining village can access education of such quality is to pay for it and this is true for hundreds of thousands across wide areas of Scotland.

When our local suburban school went comprehensive and collapsed academically I sent my children to the city’s fee paying school, but that would have been beyond my father.

Ironically, I was at school with my children’s headmaster and it was clear he was running his new school with same ethos and work ethic as our old state “grammar” but at a cost.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews

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