THE letter from "Angry Grandmother" (Your Letters, April 22) regarding her Prestwich-based grandson being refused a place at Prestwich High School showed what utter policy confusion there is in Bury.

One of the reasons our school, Affetside Primary, was deemed suitable for closure (by the LEA, plus a number of councillors, notably Councillor Boden) was because the school admitted children from just across the border in Bolton, and was therefore not perceived to be serving the immediate "local" community.

On these grounds, should Prestwich High, with its 54 per cent out-of-borough intake, also be considered not to be serving its local community?

Campaigners at Affetside were told that despite Bolton children attending schools here receiving more per-pupil funding than Bury children, this benefit did not transfer to Bury LEA, despite our belief that the funding followed the child.

So, the suggestion at the recent appeals hearing for this lady's grandson, that the better funding received from Manchester or Salford IS allocated to Bury and therefore makes such children more welcome in the borough's schools, flies in the face of what we (and presumably the Schools Organisation Committee) were told in 2002. I am also extremely concerned that the issue of funding should be raised at all at a lay appeals hearing for a school place, which surely should be assessed on educational grounds alone?

I wish this -- understandably -- "Angry Grandmother" well, and sincerely hope that Ivan Lewis MP will show his educational credentials by promptly ascertaining what is the correct position on per-pupil funding. Call me cynical, but the rejection of the lady's grandson would appear to simply be part of an ill-concealed attempt to fill surplus places in Radcliffe which, if successful, resolves the problem of what to do about surplus places at high school level in a Labour stronghold.