SIR,-You have published several letters about the difficulties of educating Catholic boys in country districts. It was remarked that it is easier for girls because of the convent schools".
In this vast industrial area there is one overcrowded Catholic Grammar School for girls, and considering it is fed with the "cream" of the II-plus intake its G.C.E. results are remarkably unspectiscular.
In addition, there are two expensive convent schools. Parents of clever girls are still faced with the agonising decision: "Shall it be a non-Catholic grammar or technical school, or a Catholic secondary modern where chances of taking G.C.E. courses are almost nil and classmates more mixed and less ambitious academically than at almost any other school?" In view of present-day difficulties is it not time that religious orders of women re-orientated their whole attitude to fit in with the urgent needs of the greatest numbers?
Could they not seek to alter the status of their schools in order to help anxious parents to give their children a Catholic educe
tion, instead of educating great numbers of non-Catholic girls, with that attention which our own daughters need so badly? In one form of 34 last year there were only six Catholic girls! One suspects that that those non-Catholic parents who can afford the fees send their daughters mainly for the snob value. Only a few free places arc given to cope with the 11-plus Catholic overflow.
In addition, Catholic parents should be encouraged to pay more attention to their daughter's education. In view of the crying need for Catholic women to make their influence felt in public life and in the professions, is it right for them to make enormous sacrifices to send their boys away to school while lecturing the "she'll-onlyget-married" attitude on their daughters? At least give them the chance of marrying their intellectual equals!