Teachers of the old school should really give Bill Brown and Ian Thomson a collective clip across the lug and tell them to stand in the corner for the rest of the class (Letters, December 20).

The ability to count, read and write is free for anyone who wants it, including people like me brought up in a Dundee Hilltown tenement, where there was no ban on parental ambition for their children. Learning and education in Scotland has never been elitist. The link of so many issues to "social deprivation" has always been more correlative than causative, and education is certainly one of these. Councils leaning on this so-called deprivation crutch should really have it kicked away from them.

For those parents living now in those "leafy suburbs" (like mine in Linlithgow) who had seen attainment performance decline during years of rising prosperity only to see it rise during years of austerity, the deprivation argument falls.

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Far more important to have better leadership at the school focused on driving better attainment at all levels of assessment and thus raising the overall standards. And as long as the Higher remains the "gold standard", The Herald should carry on publishing league tables.

Robert Martin,

115 Sheriffs Park,