I am sure I am not alone in condemning the participation of hundreds of Sixth Form school pupils in active protests, during curriculum hours, against increases in tuition fees (‘A Lesson in protest’ Times Series, November 25).

Whereas school pupils are entitled to their political views, it is surely wrong for them to take time off from their learning schedule in order to attend demonstrations.

It is to be hoped that none of Barnet’s schools where protesting pupils walked out last Wednesday gave permission or in any way condoned such absence and that appropriate reprimand will have been meted out to those involved. The tuition fees decision is by no means the only controversial one to be made by a Government. In past years there have been numerous highly contentious issues, such as the three-day week, the winter of discontent, the poll tax, the Iraq war and of course education spending cuts.

However, I cannot recall any organised pupil militancy on those occasions.

Unfortunately, we are living in an age where there is a lack of natural respect for authority. If schools cannot enforce rules and codes of discipline among their pupils the future for society as a whole is indeed bleak.

Cllr Brian Gordon
Hale Ward (Conservative)