Dear Editor, I read with interest your article on the shortage of school places within Birmingham. As a (non-immigrant) mother of five, I was well aware that Birmingham’s population, like much of the UK, was rising. My fourth child was born in 2007 and will need a school place this September.

However, I did a double-take when I read Ms Brazil’s comments, which can be described, at best, as inflammatory: “She said additional demand for places was largely due to an influx of newly arrived residents in Birmingham and the failure of existing immigrant communities to move to other parts of the city after settling here.”

Is this really all the Director of Children’s services has to say? Firstly, the birth rate has risen in many middle class suburbs, not just the inner city which Ms Brazil appears to be referring to here.

I dispute that the increase really is “largely due to newly arrived residents”. Secondly I find the word used here, “influx” to be offensive. It is listed in my dictionary as synonymous with “incursion”.

Would Ms Brazil, not being Brummie born and bred, like to be described as an “influx” and if not, why is this term used to describe the children she was appointed to serve?

This terminology alongside the dubious practice of blaming “the other” for our problems is hardly going to contribute to Birmingham’s already fragile community cohesion.

She then suggests that the “existing immigrant communities” (I am not entirely sure who she is referring to – maybe fourth generation Commonwealth invited workers?) have failed because they have not “moved to other parts of the city”.

Am I reading this correctly? Firstly, many of the schools listed for expansion are in leafy suburbs, not terraced streets, and secondly, because no-one has the right to tell people where they should and should not live. People usually choose to live somewhere they can afford, has amenities they use, and where they feel safe. That is no crime or failure on their part.

Mrs R Williams