Readers' reactions

December 3, 1999

Last week in The THES... David Blunkett explained why he wanted more inner-city youngsters to go to our top universities

Geoff Layer Professor of lifelong learning and director of continuing education, University of Bradford

The secretary of state's commitment to providing opportunities for inner-city youngsters and support for university summer schools with sixth-formers is welcome.

However, it is only a small step and has a number of limitations. Many of us who have worked on these partnerships know that to achieve lasting change such interventions need to be made before youngsters decide whether to stay on at school at 16.

A programme for sixth-formers preaches to the easy to convert. It is a shame that he did not reflect the "joined-up" thinking of his department by stressing the importance of other educational initiatives - which aim to transform inner-city school standards long before pupils reach the sixth form.

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