2 APRIL 1948, Page 15


Suz,—Many parents and other members of the public will share Janus's disappointment that the L.C.C. has seen fit to reject 270 of the boarding places in independent schools offered to London children. Janus is correct in surmising that there are "reasons," and these may be found in the report of the Education Committee to the Council and the resolutions of the Council dated February 9th, 1943, on the evidence to be submitted on behalf of the L.C.C. to the Fleming Committee. This report merits reading in full by anyone who wishes to gain insight into the mentality of those who at present control London education. Referring to the independent schools as a whole, it states that " whatever their origins, traditions or merits, they have serious anti-social characteristics, and their existence entails serious disadvantages to general educational standards." The report continues, on the subject of the public schools: " In our view the ' public' schools, with their preparatory appendages, in their heyday during the last century reflected the social conditions favourable to their development. Those conditions are changing, and it is very doubtful if the pupil of the public ' school is today receiving the kind of training best suited to prepare him to take an effective part in serving the nation in meeting the challenge of the future." Finally, the recommendation that evidence be submitted to the Fleming Committee includes the following decision: " The Council considers that the independent public day and boarding-schools are, in the widest sense, educationally undesirable while the present principles guiding their management and recruitment con- tinue ; in these conditions, therefore, the Council, as a local education authority, does not wish to be associated with any scheme 'of collaboration with them."

It is painfully dear that the " reasons " for the apparently inexplicable decisions of the last two years are to be found in the class envy and prejudice which infect the judgement of those who guide our educational destiny in London, and that there can be no hope of any broad and generous co-operation with the independent schools for the benefit of London children so long as the present Socialist administration remains I

in power.—Yours faithfully, MAGNUS WECHSLER. The County Hall, London, S.E. r.