29 JULY 1972, Page 25

Break ILEA

Sir: If Mr Ashley Bramal (Letters July 22) examines the six volumes of Department of Education statistics, he will find that there are only two tables, from which it is possible to compare the achievements of Local Education Authorities. I and many others hwve suggested that the Department should make full use of its computers and publish more tables so that the full spectrum of achievement of Local Education Authorities can be shown.

ILEA has the lowest pupil/ teacher ratio of all the LEAs in England and Wales except for the Scilly Isles. According to the Department of Education Statistics its achievements rank seventeenth among the twenty-one authorities of the GLC.

The proportion of the age group from ILEA proceeding to the universities is 7.07 per cent compared with 8.61 per cent for the whole GLC area and 8.51 per cent for the rest of the SE region, which is unsatisfactory for the centre of a Capital City. The corresponding figure for Cardiff is 9.23 per cent.

The Inner London Education Authority is unpopular with many parents not only because parents' wishes are too often disregarded and because the new selection procedures for secondary schools are unsatisfactory, but because the performance of Comprehensive Schools is less satisfactory than they had been led to believe.

Many parents are concerned with opportunities for further education. In January 1965 there were 262 comprehensive schools 239,619 pupils about a third of the number pupils in Grammar Schools at the time. It would be reasonable to expect that some comprehensive schools now have a good record for university entrance. In May I was asked by a Headmaster, if I knew of such schools ... I have made many enquiries but so far I have not yet received the name of a single school and I am beginning to wonder if one exists in England and Wales. I wrote to the Comprehensive Schools Committee in June, but I still await their reply.

The future of ILEA will depend on its policies and performance. It is difficult for a large organisation to retain the personal touch and so efficiency is the main justification for the continuance of ILEA.

The GLC 1963 Act provided for the review by the Secretary of State for Education and Science before March 31, 1970 of the administration of Education in the Inner London Education Area to decide where should be any transfer of functions.

In spite of Lord Morrison's views, the Labour Government deleted the review provisions. It is hoped that a full professional analysis of the .activities of the Inner London Education Authority will be made at an early date so that improvements can be made to bring the level of educational achievement in the inner area of London up to the standards required in the Capital of Great Britain.

Richard Wort Knole Cottage, 69 Murray Road, Wimbledon, SW19.