State sup­porter

THE (Times Higher Education) - - LETTERS -

Re the item about me and a re­cent speech I de­liv­ered (The Week in Higher Ed­u­ca­tion, 10 May): guilty as charged. I did spend most of my ca­reer in pri­vate schools, al­though it was not for want of try­ing to teach in state schools, nor for in­volve­ment as a gov­er­nor and in other ways.

But it is not true to say that the speech to which you re­fer (source: the Daily Mail) was at­tack­ing state schools. Rather my con­cern, as for many years, has been the regime un­der which they have to labour, which, of­ten for the best of rea­sons, has nar­rowed the cur­ricu­lum, re­stricts stu­dents of the arts, sport and wider en­rich­ment, and has im­posed an exam regime that places stu­dents and staff un­der in­tol­er­a­ble stress as the only val­ida­tor of school suc­cess.

I have al­ways tried, how­ever in­ad­e­quately, to sup­port state school stu­dents and staff, not least their men­tal health.

Sir An­thony Sel­don Vice-chan­cel­lor

Uni­ver­sity of Buck­ing­ham

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