Readers' letters - June 1
Kick in the teeth for parents and teachers
Grammar Schools: Who Will Get In?, on BBC 2, was a stark reminder of how this anachronistic and self-defeating scheme remains at the heart of our educational system – and backed by our current PM.
Yes, it’s high drama to watch 11 year olds compete for a space amid the backdrop of class privilege and manipulation. But the conversation has been had before.
We know where the road leads, the research is all there.
Grammar schools do not, on balance, help working class children.
Our education system is in crisis. School governors and head teachers are having to cope with the biggest funding deficit in living memory, there is a mass recruitment shortfall and a record number of teachers leaving the profession,
There are also worryingly large numbers of young people with mental health issues, caused by stress, and who are tested to within an inch of their lives.
Expanding selective schools is a kick in the teeth for the majority of parents, grandparents, school staff and governing bodies up and down the country.
They know that this government of the few and for the few has to go.
Aid cash tiny
With respect to the letter from Karl Sheridan (LP Letters, May 29), he opined that “money in the Treasury’s coffers should be spent on getting this country in a fit state before worrying about other countries and their problems”.
He also quotes the figure of £13bn as what the DfID has to distribute each year.
That is truly a very large figure.
However, it is only 0.7 per cent of our GDP, that is 70p out of every £100 the UK earns, which is the standard that the UN has set.
In medieval times, when people were far less prosperous, people tithed, and each gave 10 per cent of their individual GDP away – that’s over 14 times as much as that aid percentage.
So that aid percentage seems a very small amount for us to give, as we are the fifth-richest country in the world, and so our aid is being distributed to many of the 190-plus countries who are not as rich as us.
I do agree with Karl that we, as the UK, are facing a number of serious problems.
One difficulty with understanding our overall financial situation is that there is no transparency.
George Osborne proposed issuing some form of accounts, but nothing has surfaced.
All sorts of organisations – from public companies to small charities – have to issue annual accounts, but UK Ltd, not a jot!
One sheet of A4 with the key details of the UK’s income, expenditure and debt would help us understand so much better.
Unexpected garden visitors
A couple of weeks ago, we woke up to find two unexpected visitors in our garden, two beautiful ducks, pictured.
We obviously thought they were on their way somewhere and had just stopped off for a rest but, when we awoke the next morning, they were still there.
That was two weeks ago and, although they sometimes fly off during the day, they usually return early evening and settle in here for the night.
They love swimming in my little pond and I must admit to encouraging them by giving them treats.
We have two hens who they seem to like and also two dogs, a springer spaniel and a dachshund, who, amazingly, they don’t seem too bothered about.
We love watching them and hope they stay a little longer.
Jeff and Sandra Morgan
There was room for fairground
This letter concerns the fairground that has always been in the city centre.
It’s another tradition being moved out of the area.
No consideration has been given to the businesses in Preston city centre.
Towns and shops are dying. They rely on the trade it brings with it.
It is also traditional.
Why couldn’t the small stalls and rides go behind the Town Hall and Flag Market and the big rides go on the bus station forecourt which isn’t being used for anything?
That way it would have kept people and trade in the city centre.
No wonder people aren’t happy about all the things that are changing and not for the best.