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March 27, 2006

Your letters

Sunday March 26, 2006
The Observer,,1739800,00.html

In your front-page article, 'Academy backer named as new Blair "secret loan" source' (News, last week), you say Andrew Rosenfeld 'has funded one of Tony Blair's controversial city academies'.

This contributes to the erroneous impression that these 'contributors' have a greater role in the financing of academies than is the case.

In most instances, they contribute around 8 per cent, the rest being paid by the government. This I would put under the heading of a 'top-up' rather than 'backing or funding'.

Indeed, I am bemused by the prominence these donors receive, not just in the press, but in the running of the schools, as evidenced by the apparent influence of Sir Peter Vardy in the north east.

In any other undertaking, would a share of less than 10 per cent allow the holder to have a direct influence on policy?

Jonathan Cahill
London NW1

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