Class education

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It is a pity that Stuart Crawford (Letters, 15 January) feels that parents who exercise the choice to send their children to state schools are doing so only ­because they believe that owning cars and going on holidays are more important than their children’s education.

His assumption that the only way to obtain a “decent” education is by paying for it rather begs the question as to what a “decent” education should ­include.

I don’t know on what grounds Mr Crawford concluded that his local schools were not “up to scratch”, but my wife and I took the view that our local comprehensive offered all that our children would need in order to 
obtain an excellent start in life.

In making that decision we recognised that we might have to play a significant part in contributing to their wider education, and getting involved in school life, while placing faith in the teachers’ ability to provide for the academic aspects of our children’s education as thoroughly as possible.

In that latter respect, our faith was repaid admirably.

All children are different. Some children going through the state system may excel, and others in the private system may disappoint, and vice versa.

There are many benefits to both systems, and, on the basis of academic statistics alone, 
the private route appears very attractive.

I don’t doubt that many, like Mr Crawford, have had to make sacrifices, but I hope that most parents, if they have the means, make the choice of ­education for their children on the basis of what they believe will be best for them, and not because expensive holidays are more 
important than their children’s future.

Robert Drysdale

Primrose Bank Road


What a pleasure to read some sensible correspondence on Scotland’s private schools in response to the previous misguided tripe from Councillor Douglas Chapman (Letters, 14 January).

The good councillor seems to think that if the state instead of the parents paid for the education of these children then there would be more public money for such things as music education. What fiddle does he have in mind, or is he simply in need of a little mathematical education himself?

I paid for my second degree almost entirely from part-time employment. One source of income was coaching the children of less well-off parents in preparation for bursary exams, which would enable them to attend fee-paying schools for free (part of the requirement for charitable status, I believe).

Even my modest fee was a strain so I am delighted that, with a little help from me, the 
efforts of these marvellous parents and their offspring was 
invariably successful.

(Dr) A McCormick

Kirkland Road

Terregles, Dumfries