Readers' letters - April 12

Beware creeping rise in class sizes

By The Newsroom
Friday, 13th April 2018, 2:43 pm
Updated Friday, 13th April 2018, 2:46 pm
Are class sizes too big these days?
Are class sizes too big these days?

A recent analysis of official figures by education unions suggests that two-thirds of secondary schools in England have increased the size of their classes in the past two years.

This causes me great concern.

It is really important to have small class sizes for children as the one-to-one support and feedback gives them a much greater benefit in their education.

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Small class sizes allow staff to truly understand the needs of every pupil and support them in the best way for everyone.

Having fewer pupils in classrooms also allows teachers to get to know pupils on a more personal level and it brings a real sense of community to the school.

Small class sizes allow teachers to nurture pupils’ talents and help them to reach their full potential.

If school class sizes continue to grow, it will become increasingly more difficult for teachers to monitor pupils’ personal progress and give them the individual attention they require.

The analysis, which looked at figures between 2014-15 and 2016-17, found that, in some areas, secondary schools have had average rises of three more students per class.

If the average class size is 20, then that is almost a 25 per cent increase!

It is important to note that the Department of Education has said the figures in this analysis are flawed and states that the average class sizes have seen little change since 2010.

I think it is crucial that we keep an eye on our pupils’ class sizes and ensure they are getting the support they need

Jackie Griffiths

via email


Beginnings of Brigade Cup

Today’s Looking Back shows The Shanghai International Trophy of 1932 – which became The Lancastrian Brigade Cup of the 1960s.

The history began in 1932 when a skirmish/or unrest occurred in China. An expeditionary force of British, American and Italian troops were sent over to quell the unrest. The matter was soon dealt with. The British and Italian soldiers and US Marines were requested to stay in Shanghai, for a short while, to ensure the localised fighting did not reoccur.

To kill the time , the bored troops came up with the inaugural sporting contest, The Shanghai Cup, between the three nations. The British were represented by a team of 20 soldiers from the Battalion of East Lancashire Regiment (some based at Fulwood Barracks). The American Marines represented the USA and there was the Italian army. The sporting events included athletic-style contests, running, tug of war and more. The Brits emerged victorious, with the USA runners-up and the Italians coming third.

The cup was never contested again after 1932 and was brought home to Fulwood Barracks in Preston, where it rested for more than 30 years. In the 1960s, the powers-that-be in Fulwood decided that, rather than keep the cup on a shelf in the camp museum, they would donate said trophy to the Preston and District Football League in 1966. The barracks team had a football team entered in the district league at the time.

The league chairman, Ivan Lund, and league secretary, Bill Shakespere, gratefully accepted the cup, to be renamed The Lancastrian Brigade Cup.

The Lancastrian Brigade Cup, after more than 50 years, is still played for annually in the now renamed league, Mid-Lancashire Football League. Famous past winners include: Brookhouse Rangers (1966); Leyland Athletic; (treble winners in the 1970s), Bamber Bridge and the legendary ‘West End’ of Preston.

Wilf Riley

via email


Is Mr Blobby

in charge?

The roads in Garstang, and the Fylde in general, are in the worst condition that I have known in 70 years of motoring.

In the past 40 years, there has been very little resurfacing of roads, whilst traffic has increased by several hundreds per cent.

Filling potholes has become the standard for road maintenance.

A typical pothole repair seems to be filling the hole with asphalt without putting any seal underneath or round the edge – a sort of blobby job.

Has Lancashire County Council employed Mr Blobby without checking his work?

In Garstang, the two roundabouts on Lancaster Road – one at the High Street end and the other at Green Lane – were scheduled for resurfacing in February


They still have not been repaired in April 2018.

Has the county councillor in charge of the Pothole Portfolio any explanation?

J Relton

via email


Pushing us

to war...

It’s time people sat up and realised that the West is engineering a devastating war between us and Russia.

Nothing has been proved about the spy chemical attack – or the gas attack in Syria – but both are being used to justify the long-term aim of a new world war.

Richard Tandy