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A voice of reason for Pimlico School

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letters

Your editorial was a voice of reason, which the Pimlico School community has too rarely heard from its governing body or local education authority.

When we first elected Jack Straw as a governor we naively imagined that we had acquired an advocate at the top table. Central government thought it had acquired a guinea pig. We were both wrong. It would now seem that some of those governors (including Jack) in whom parents and staff have expressed a lack of confidence will be doing the honourable thing.

But a reversal of the decision to replace the building will not be easy. This would require at least two leaps of government imagination. Firstly the Treasury must recognise that Pimlico School is atypical, and therefore not appropriate for the status of a pfi 'pathfinder' scheme - or eligible for the vast amounts of 'initiative capital' such projects enjoy.

Secondly, the DfEE must recognise that the present building provides the stimulating conditions in which education thrives and helps explain the school's success: it therefore merits rehabilitation. We estimate the Treasury give-away for an unnecessary demolition at £15 million. The DfEE should be arguing that such a sum would be better spent on refurbishing this extraordinary building.

MICHAEL BALL

London SE11

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