Dear Editor, I am happy to be able to report a ‘flip side’ to your online report (December 3) “Government helps Birmingham schools ride recession”.

Contrary to Ed Balls’ assertion that parents who would usually send their child to a fee-paying school are sticking with the state sector, we are actually finding that the opposite is true.

Norfolk House School has been part of the fabric of Birmingham for well over half a century.

As the leading independent preparatory school in the city I can tell you that pupil numbers remain very strong and that parents continue to be willing and able to pay reasonable fees for their child to be given the best possible start in life in the independent education sector.

In fact, at the beginning of this academic year we opened Birmingham’s newest nursery school, Norfolk House Nursery, in a Victorian building next to our main school.

The nursery is thriving and numbers are excellent.

If, as Mr Balls says, he is focused on standards and results, then I’d invite him to come and see an example of excellence in action in our city.

Helen Maresca,
Norfolk House School, Edgbaston