Readers' letters - February 20

A correspondent says 'Let teachers do their job  teach'A correspondent says 'Let teachers do their job  teach'
A correspondent says 'Let teachers do their job teach'
Let teachers do their job '“ teach

For more letters: is there a shortage of teachers?

The answer is the same as for nurses and police – they can’t do their jobs.

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It’s not a criticism of their ability or effort but rather the administrative tasks that stop them from doing their actual job.

The often reported shortage of capable, experienced teachers is exacerbated by the number of young teachers who start with great enthusiasm but leave disillusioned within five years.

Teachers want to teach, for which they have been studying for, but they are stuck with doing ‘administrivia’ and repetitive professional development tasks in order to stay registered.

What can be done to remedy this – at a reasonable cost and in a reasonable time?

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More money is always a positive although most people don’t enter the profession for the financial rewards but for what they can do for their students.

Respect for teachers has declined. It can’t be addressed by governments but rather by individual teachers who earn it.

Perhaps the only significant change at the moment is to recognise that teachers teach and administrators administer and never the twain should meet in one person.

Dennis Fitzgerald

via email


Paul rolled back the years

It’s hard to believe that it’s 35 years since Paul Young hit the top of the charts with an excellent cover version of the Marvin Gaye classic, Wherever I Lay My Hat.

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Paul Young’s current UK tour came to Preston’s Charter Theatre recently.

For 90 minutes, Paul, pictured below, along with his tight four-piece band, rolled back the years with hits like Common People, Everything Must Change, I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, Everytime You Go Away and many more.

The near capacity audience enjoyed it as well, with many in the front rows getting up to dance and sing along with Paul.

Opening act China Crisis certainly had a warm rapport with the audience, with an enjoyable 45-minute set including their biggest hit, Wishful Thinking.

S Briscoe

via email


Drought crisis in South Africa

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As Britain continues to obsess about Brexit, a crisis is happening over in South Africa of which we all seem unaware.

Water supplies for Cape Town are running low, partly due to poor maintenance and partly due to a prolonged drought.

The need for water engineers and drilling equipment to find new supplies of underground water is now urgent.

Other major communities are also soon to be in difficulty.

Are we going to help our cousins and friends at this time?

The election of the new president (Cyril Ramaphosa) has arguably come 20 years too late for both him and the country. I seriously doubt South Africa will ever find anyone capable of filling Nelson Mandela’s shoes.

Please, we must help in any way we can.

Nigel Boddy

via email


Vince is right about NHS

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I am not a political animal, yet I do agree with Vince Cable when he advocates a one per cent rise in income tax ring-fenced for use with the NHS.

I would like to see some go to education as well.

Taking matters a stage further, to ease the demand on A&E in particular, I would advocate a £10 charge for their services.

Furthermore, how about a £50 levy for those idiots under the influence of either drink or drugs?

If such a levy stopped some of the timewasters attending A&E, so much the better.

Bob Swallow

Address supplied


Buses or passes?

Keeping buses on the road is becoming ever more difficult.

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The Government has to recognise that adequate funding has to be given to the local authorities to be able to provide these necessary services. The monies should be ring-fenced.

The time has now come for users of these services to chip in a contribution of, say, 50p per journey from all concessionary pass-holders.

This step would go a long way to keeping rural bus services going.

Not popular I suspect, but not much good having a free pass if there are no buses to use!

Jeff Thomas

via email