I was fascinated by your diary item “The Kingsdale experiment” (9 July, page 27).
I was even more perplexed by your report than the anonymous “educationalists” to which you referred. While I need not comment on the bravery or parentage of a, er, highly successful supply teacher, I am duty bound to respond to your riddle wrapped in an enigma. I must confess that I am not convinced by the beneficial effects of architecture on, er, supply teachers.
Most of the students at Kingsdale are indeed highly talented, responsible and a credit to their Queen and country. However, I have yet to meet any pupil who can rip up books that do not exist. For the record, our new library, like most, is due to open after it is completed and the books arrive – in October 2004. We are not aware of any damage that was done to books in the old library. In the unlikely event that the Doomsday Prophecy of your informant was to materialise, we would be happy to sponsor the research that demonstrates that pupils behave worse when the environment gets better.
As a top 20 most improved school nationally and the best community school performer in the local education authority’s history, we feel there may be something of value that is worth investigating at Kingsdale School.
Yours without bravery,
Stephen Morrison, headteacher, Kingsdale School, Dulwich, south London