Dear Editor, I refer to the letter from ‘A teacher’ published in the Birmingham Post on July 13, referring to Sarah Evans’ column entitled ‘Educate the parents and all will benefit’.
There is no easy solution to the lack of social mobility which blights disadvantaged communities in the UK.
Your correspondent is right to say that an appropriate curriculum is crucially important but let us also appreciate the efforts of those in many schools who, in a variety of ways, are trying to make headway against multiple barriers to learning.
Sarah’s piece illustrated the benefits of encouraging parents to engage with their child’s learning.
On the specific point made by your correspondent, it is the aim of King Edward VI High School for Girls, and the neighbouring King Edward’s School, to be as accessible as possible to all children in Birmingham including those from disadvantaged communities.
Last year the parents of 274 pupils at these two independent schools received help with fees. Of these, 109 pupils had entirely free places and a further 38 families paid less than 10 per cent of fees.
The King Edward Foundation also supports five grammar schools in the city and sponsors King Edward VI Sheldon Heath Academy, all of which are free to attend. All of these schools provide a curriculum which is appropriately challenging for children irrespective of their background.
We appreciate there is much to do to widen accessibility to our schools and aim to extend our work with primary schools so that more families are aware of the opportunities we offer.
The schools of King Edward VI share the aspiration of your correspondent to increase social mobility which is essential for the wellbeing of the city.
J E Collins, Secretary to the Governors,
Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham