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Jayne Dowle: Why we’re failing to help pupils reach for the stars

My son has a friend. Let’s call her Kate. She is 15 and she wants to be an astronaut. OK, you might say. Thousands of kids dream of becoming an astronaut.

Opinion
Is Nick Clegg a lion resurgent, as Jayne Dowle argues?

Jayne Dowle: Flawed politician could be the saviour of democracy

AS experienced Labour MPs consider their positions, and some notable names step down, Nick Clegg, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, is a lion resurgent. Who would have thought it?

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Former Labour leader Ed Miliband pictured in Barnsley town centre celebrating the victory of MP Dan Jarvis in the Barnsley Central by-election in 2011. (PA).

Jayne Dowle: Thinking the unthinkable in Yorkshire ahead of unprecedented election

This will be a General Election like no other. In my home town of Barnsley, we have three Labour MPs; Dan Jarvis in the Central ward, Angela Smith to the rural west, and Michael Dugher in my own constituency of Barnsley East.

Opinion 4
Loneliness afflicts people of all ages.

Jayne Dowle: Young and lonely, who does care for those left alone?

SPARE a thought for the children this Easter – and I don’t mean buy yet another chocolate egg and hope it will keep them quiet.

Opinion
File photo of a Scout, as tens of thousands of young people are being forced to wait to join the Scouts, due to a lack of volunteers.

Jayne Dowle: Scouting around in the ruins of the ‘Big Society’

IT’S headline news. Record numbers of young people are on the waiting list to join the Scouts. More than 50,000 boys and girls are ready and eager to learn how to tie complicated knots and embark on camping adventures, but there simply aren’t enough volunteer leaders coming forward.

Opinion
Ignorance towards foreign languages is a national disgrace, says Jayne Dowle.

Jayne Dowle: Don’t rely on an airport to mind our languages

IT is a great irony that the more we travel, the less inclined we are to speak any kind of foreign language. The situation has become so dire that Heathrow Airport has now taken matters into its own hands.

Opinion 1
Education Secretary Justine Greening is at the centre of a new row over schools funding.

Jayne Dowle: Minister fails to learn from her Yorkshire education

I’VE got a conundrum for the Secretary of State for Education. Our local council in Barnsley says that a new secondary school will be required for the town centre in the next few years.

Opinion 1
Should there be more financial education in schools?

Jayne Dowle: Learning about money needs to happen early on

MY teenage son now has his own current account. When his debit card arrived in the post, he couldn’t wait to rush off to the shop to use it. His first intended purchase? A bottle of pop and a bag of chocolates.

Opinion 1
Picture: PA

Jayne Dowle: Millions driven into clutches of payday lenders

HAVE you ever taken out a payday loan? I haven’t, but you might be surprised who has.

Opinion 1
Should mental health specialists be based in every school?

Jayne Dowle: As a parent, I’d like to see a designated mental health specialist in every school

MY daughter comes home from school with a tale of woe almost every week. The issues her class-mates face would tax any adult. There is one girl who is in knots about her sexuality. Another who has tried to cut her own wrists because her home life is chaotic. And a boy with learning difficulties who once opted to lie down in the middle of the road to wait for a truck to run over him.

Opinion 1
Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon are engaged in a battle of wills over Scottish independence.

Jayne Dowle: Nicola Sturgeon’s referendum call – Is this about Scottish pride or just personal ambition?

I HAPPEN to be a supporter of Nicola Sturgeon. I admire the way this feisty 46-year-old clawed her way up from a childhood in Irvine as the daughter of an electrician, through university and law school to become the first woman to hold the post of Scotland’s First Minister.

Opinion 3
Theresa May and Philip Hammond are backtracking over tax.

Jayne Dowle: Budget tax grab a hammer blow for self-employed

IT’S not the fact that thousands of builders, management consultants and yes, freelance journalists, face a hike in their National Insurance bill that’s caused all the bother. It’s the principle of the thing.

Opinion 3
the possibility of new grammar schools featured in the Budget.

Jayne Dowle: Grammar vanity project will leave a generation behind

A “DISGUSTING” vanity project or a chance for every child to reach their full potential?

Opinion 4
Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Jayne Dowle: Time to think of families just about managing

AS Philip Hammond shuffles his red boxes ahead of Wednesday’s Budget, I hope he is thinking of families in Yorkshire.

Opinion
Vulnerable children deserve full protection from the law to stop paedophiles viewing indecent images on the internet.

Jayne Dowle: Police and NSPCC’s betrayal over child sex abuse images

JUST what is the world coming to? A leading police officer says that paedophiles who view indecent images of children should not be treated like criminals. Instead, those who don’t pose an actual physical threat to youngsters should be given counselling and rehabilitation instead of a prison sentence.

Opinion 3
Is Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a lost cause?

Jayne Dowle: Wake up, Labour, you are heading towards disaster

MANY questions will have been asked this weekend. I have just the one. Now will the Labour Party finally wake up and stop sleep-walking into disaster?

Opinion 3
Should teenagers know how to make their own bed? Columnist Jayne Dowle thinks so.

Jayne Dowle: It should not be a chore to expect our children to make their own beds

OUR Lizzie has returned from her first school residential with a proud badge of honour. She didn’t gain it for her new-found skills at archery, or her bravery on the zip-wire. It was because she was the only girl in her dormitory who knew how to make her own bed.

Opinion 3
A new exhibtion has opened in Barnsley charting cricket umpire Dickie Bird's career.

Jayne Dowle: Celebrate town, but don’t revert to stereotypes

PLEASE don’t send me hate mail. I have nothing against Dickie Bird personally. I met him once, when my children were small. He was very kind, kneeling down to their level and having a chat with them. I always like that about people.

Opinion 2
Would you recommend a medical career to your children?

Jayne Dowle: I don’t want my children to work in Jeremy Hunt’s NHS

WOULD you want your child to be a doctor or nurse in today’s NHS? Only a generation or two ago, this question would have been a no-brainer.

Opinion 3
Stations like Sheffield need better links to Manchester, argues Jayne Dowle.

Jayne Dowle: It’s time that we bridged the great Northern divide

LAST week I went to Manchester for work. From my front door, it’s only 30 miles to Piccadilly station. I’ve done the drive in less than an hour, late at night when there’s little traffic.

Opinion 5
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