February 9: Politicians meddling in the classroom

Have your say

From: Robert Reynolds, West Bank, Batley.

YOU have to laugh at the Tories. Now they’ve messed up the school league tables. None other than Harrow, one of the elite public schools, asked the Department for Education if the international GCSE system was acceptable to teach. The answer was yes. Halfway through the year, Ministers did a U-turn and said no. Now Harrow languishes near the bottom.

This is just one of many botch jobs done by our politicians. Looking back at my sister’s teaching portfolio, it seems the politicians meddle every year, but make radical changes every two or three years.

How teachers tolerate this I will never understand. In reality, many leave.

This leads to the vacuous promise by David Cameron that he will freeze spending on schools and wage war on poor performing ones.

My daughter is in a class of 40. It only needs three or so kids to kick off and a 45-minute lesson is wasted. How can this man promise improvements with such huge class sizes and no extra money? Having been to Eton, he doesn’t understand the problem.

From: Max Hey, Fairway Grove, Bradford.

AUDITORS revealed that they do not trust the accuracy of the Department for Education (DfE) sums after it merged accounts of academy trusts with its own agencies.

This has made it difficult to make sense of the figures that were suggested. The National Audit Office chief, Amyas Morse, said the DfE’s inability to provide statements that “give a true and fair view” of the financial activity of its organisation means that it is not meeting the requirements of Parliament”.

What a ridiculous situation.

From: Canon Michael Storey, Healey Wood Road, Brighouse.

I HAVE noticed that our Prime Minister hopes that by improving education in primary schools, all children aged 11 will know their 12-times table. Hurrah!

I attended an infant school from 1940 to 1943. The top class had to know the 12-times table before going to junior school, aged seven. How times change.

Scandal of

From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

AT last Rotherham Council’s Cabinet (The Yorkshire Post, February 4) has resigned en-bloc because is been shown to be incompetent and unfit for purpose having allowed child abuse to flourish in the borough for years.

At least 1,500 young under-age females were allowed to be abused by men of mostly Pakistani origin without any restraints whatsoever. These incompetent councillors knew of the problem for years, yet said or did nothing. Were they frightened of being labelled racist? If so what kind of country have we become?

Sex lessons and British values

From: John Watson, Hutton Hill, Leyburn.

I THOUGHT the post-war 1960s were the start of the degradation of British values and behaviour.

Now the start of the 21st century has taken us one stage further. The proposal to give five-year-olds lessons in heterosexual behaviour together with that of homosexuality and lesbianism really plumbs the depths.

Trident the
sticking point

From: Dr Peter Asquith-Cowen, First Lane, Anlaby, Nr. Beverley.

I SUPPORT the SNP because it has ‘stuck to its guns’ and – unlike the Labour Party, when it became “New” under Blair and Brown – has never jettisoned the Social Democratic ‘core principles’ that have been the bedrock of the Socialist philosophy since its inception by Keir Hardie and Ramsay MacDonald over 100 years ago.

Whatever the outcome on May 7, the sticking block for me will be Trident.

Labour – if it does have to form a coalition with the SNP – will have this major problem to 

It is an unwise man who leaves his doors unlocked and advertises the fact.

No one wants to face Armageddon, which nearly happened in the Cuba crisis. Vladimir Putin is a dangerous neighbour, and we have to be prepared for any eventuality. This is, I’m afraid, the reality of modern life; the legacy of the last war.

Memories of
coach works

From: Paul Fox, Sheffield.

MIGHT ANY of your readers have knowledge of the long defunct business, Lockwood & Clarkson, high-class coach and motor works, that traded mainly from premises in Barclay Street
just north of Sheffield city centre?

During the First World War, they built bodies on a few pioneering trolley bus chassis, the latter assembled by the Railless Electric Traction Company at Balm Road in Hunslet.

I would be especially interested to contact any descendants of Fred Lockwood and James Clarkson, who were running the business at the time, especially if they have any recollections, information or photographs of their forebears’ coach building in Leeds.