Readers' letters - August 11

Policy based on emotion

Thursday, 11th August 2016, 3:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:53 pm
Theresa Mays new Government is thinking of re-introducing grammar schools. See letter

It took less than a month but Theresa May’s new Government appears to be floating another massive change to education policy – the re-introduction of grammar schools. I’m sure this announcement will gain favour from some, but ask yourselves a question.

Is the call for more grammar schools based on hard facts and evidence or yet another example of policy birthed in emotion and knee-jerk reaction?

Let us look at some hard facts about the perceived success of grammar schools.

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The big claim from those that are calling for their re-introduction is that they are engines of social mobility.

In reality, only three per cent of those who attend grammar schools claim free school meals – the piece of data used to determine the pupil premium and hence develop the group of children from which social mobility should be measured. This compares with 18 per cent in your average comprehensive school. Also four times as many pupils who attend grammar schools came from the independent sector.

In fact grammar schools are used more as cheap private-style education than engines of social mobility. We need more policy rooted in evidence and research.

Education is too important for emotion to drive policy.

Wayne Chadburnvia email

Theresa, keep your money

The sum of £13,000 might seem like a lot, but it wouldn’t purchase a house these days – not even a beach hut.

In this current climate of sell-offs – our NHS and our countryside – this money wouldn’t go far on medical bills when our children get sick because of toxins in our environment due to fracking.

It would no longer go far towards putting a child through university.

There is a growing awareness taking place, not just in the UK, but globally, that our Government representatives no longer look toward our needs and aspirations, but are in a revolving door relationship between banks, corporations and government.

Theresa May, you must be feeling desperate.

We want our water supply, our land and our air to remain clean. We also want to live peacefully, responsibly and sustainably. Keep your money. We cannot be bribed.

Heather Stroud, address supplied

Speculate to accumulate

So Mark Carney and co have reduced the bank rate for business and jobs?

If the Bank of England is independent, I hope the Government finds another way to give a better interest rate to us savers.

I have only had two mortgages in my life, thankfully, and worked many hours to pay them off quick.

I wanted my money to go back in so others could also own their own home, but now this seems impossible for many.

When will this Government speculate to accumulate?

We need people to spend. We do not get enough tax in, and, thanks again to Lloyds Bank, my bank, even more people will now pay no tax or national insurance.

Some could lose their houses. What then? To put Great back into Britain, we need to invest and not blame all on Brexit!

Name and address supplied

Thanks to all my supporters

I would like to thank all the local brides and grooms, and the families and businesses in Longridge, who have supported my business over the past decade.

It has been a privilege to work with such lovely people and share their special day. I will now be concentrating on my dance photography and events work.

Caroline Holden, Longridge

Viking invasion was welcome

I had a fantastic weekend at Heysham’s inaugural Viking Festival.

This memorable event was arranged by Heysham Neighbourhood Council, whose chairman Peter Whaley and secretary Allison Thomas planned and organised it brilliantly.

After a rainy Friday, the weather became kinder and the crowds poured in on Saturday and, especially, Sunday.

The living history encampment was very popular where Vikings demonstrated talents that weren’t just about Warcraft.

But of course everyone wants to see Vikings fight.

On each day there was a march around the village where the locals were put in fear of what was to come.

In the afternoon there was a weapons display and on Sunday a combat competition.

Then came the pitched battle where the Vikings attacked the Saxons who were trying to protect the village from their mayhem and slaughter.

There were many highlights including the Viking battle chants as they marched along Main Street.

One was rather unorthodox: “We will kill you (and we’ll be back next year)”. I’m sure many Heysham residents and visitors hope they do.

Colin Hartley, Heysham

Why not switch off Corrie?

In response to Stan Bowden’s letter (Coronation Street

should be for all the family, July 13), could I give some well intended friendly advice?

Like the monarchy, Coronation Street is a national institution, it makes no logic or sense and, akin to religion, is ingrained in our nation’s DNA.

If people can’t differentiate between a money-for-old-rope programme where an average 10-year-old can follow the thread that repeats itself ad nauseum, with storylines where characters can just waltz into jobs, businesses and houses, and a refuge for failed pop stars and third-rate actors, earning eight to 10 – sometimes 15 times – the average wage, then the answer is as simple as the nose on your face.

Just switch off.

Mr S Ormerod