I write in response to the letter headed ‘Tools of the trade’ from 18 February. I disagree entirely with the sweeping assumption that state-educated students do not gain the skills to obtain a professional qualification.

The writer states that ‘students not attending private school are far less likely to have been provided with the skills and tools necessary to obtain a professional qualification’. I am wondering on what evidence this assertion is based.

I attended a state comprehensive school, formerly a secondary modern. My teachers did a tremendous job and I felt I had a well-rounded education which gave me an excellent basis for my current career as a solicitor. A number of my contemporaries also went onto professional careers – midwives, teachers, officers in the armed forces and so on. This was in large part down to skills gained at our lowly state school, together with determination to succeed because of, not despite of, our ‘less fortunate’ backgrounds.

I also owe a huge thank you to my mother for the effort she put into broadening my education outside school and giving me the confidence to believe in myself. Therefore, I don’t think it is a lack of skills, but rather a lack of opportunity, that bars entry to the profession.

Kirsty Pennington, Lucas & Wyllys, Great Yarmouth