School places row continues

PUBLISHED: 13:50 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:11 06 May 2010

SIR - The Herts Advertiser continues to give coverage to Helen Mair s campaign for a school place as it is obviously a local story of interest, clearly demonstrated by people like Ian Malin following it so closely (June 11). However, if he had understood

SIR - The Herts Advertiser continues to give coverage to Helen Mair's campaign for a school place as it is obviously a local story of interest, clearly demonstrated by people like Ian Malin following it so closely (June 11).

However, if he had understood the campaign he would see that Mrs Mair has never condemned any St Albans school or used the word 'best'. Her whole campaign is one about 'choices' and what may be a first 'choice' school for one family may be second 'choice' for another. As far as I can see Mrs Mair's campaign is all about her son gaining a place in his local community school and nothing to do with the merits of Francis Bacon. Also, why should Mrs Mair visit Francis Bacon when Ofsted have clearly done this for her?

I wish Mrs Mair the very best with her campaign and look forward to a successful outcome for her and her family.

NAME and address supplied

SIR - Please, please can I ask any parents who are holding a state school place in Hertfordshire that they do not intend to take up to release it urgently. My heart goes out to Mrs Mair and the numerous other parents who are still without any of their three school choices for their children this year. Please do not wait until the start of term to release a place that could be re-allocated now allowing these children to prepare for this important transition to senior school.

Your readers last week completely missed the point - one of them even choosing to send their children into private education rather than accepting the school they had been given, but stating that Mrs Mair was "arrogant" for being forced to consider a similar action. I am dumbfounded at your reader's hypocrisy! We are offered the concept of a choice of schools for our children - that is all that Mrs Mair and the other parents seem to be asking for. They have every right to keep pursuing that choice and battling a system that is clearly flawed.

Every year, parents hang on to places at "good" schools that they will not use, only informing the school after term has started. Please let us not do this again this year - it is so disruptive for the children waiting for those precious places. I urge any parent who can to release their unwanted place and help these children to look forward to September.

FIONA CLARK

Salisbury Avenue

St Albans

SIR - As a former resident with some experience and understanding of what makes the road 'tick' I'm quite surprised at the Mair family's determination to secure a place for the eldest child at a state-funded secondary school.

Surely anyone moving to The Park they would want to educate their children privately? It goes with the territory.

NAME and address supplied


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