A one-size school system will not work

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

Will you be collecting your GCSE results on Thursday?

WhilsE it is lamentable that schools are excluding under-performing students to boost their GCSE pass rating (The Yorkshire Post, August 29) surely the system of grading schools is fundamentally wrong?

All children are due an education and it is time that failing pupils were detected earlier and less academic subjects provided for them. It may seem old fashioned in this era of an exam qualification being required for the most menial of jobs but the secondary modern schools of yesteryear provided the country with valuable tradesmen. We now seem to have to source such labour from other countries. All children are not the same and a one size education system was always doomed to fail.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Home truths over land

From: Andrew Sanderson, Holmfirth.

Further to your article on housing demand (The Yorkshire Post, August 30), I would fully endorse the point that civil servants and central government, of both political parties, have directed local authorities on what the housing land supply should be.

The methodology is suspect and why should any council be held back from generating growth in their area and by increasing supply, reduce the cost of new housing through lower land values? Planning inspectors could still set a minimum provision of housing as most councils succumb to the NIMBY arguments of local councillors representing the better residential areas. It is surprising that a political party like the Conservatives, who believe in enterprise and the market, should seek to dictate a Government restriction on the free market.

Councils will keep their rateable income from 2020 as part of restructuring local Government finance, and this would encourage councils to go for more growth.

High cost of Alzheimer’s

From: DS Boyes, Upper Rodley Lane, Leeds.

Can anyone understand why the Conservatives used so much trouble and time to legislate for statutory foreign aid payments of billions – when the Government has continued to ignore the crisis in care of the elderly incapacitated by medical conditions of dementia/Alzheimer’s?

When these can strike at any section of the community, why are only homeowners expected to pay? Recent reports suggest council bosses have taken possession of nearly 5,000 homes to pay their owners’ care home fees in the past two years alone. Could Stalin have done worse?

Don’t miss out on engineers

From: Rachel M Maister, Borrage Lane, Ripon.

In the article by Toby Young (The Yorkshire Post, August 24) he writes about the necessity for selection for secondary education to “lift Britain’s technical merit”.

However he fails to mention that technical ability, the ability to see in the mind how things would look in different orientations, is linked to reading problems. Similar letters in different orientations such as “b” and “d” and “p” and “q” continue to be confused. These poor readers and spellers would not be selected for grammar school, and despite having excellent engineering ability, would not get to university. Let’s keep our comprehensive schools and not lose our gifted engineers.

Ducks fare 
in my taxi

From: Molly Preston, Austwick, North Yorkshire.

During many years of driving a taxi (some years ago), the strangest taxi fares were as follows;

1. A swarm of bees on a board covered by a sheet. They were buzzing contentedly so I assumed I would be safe and they were delivered without mishap.

2. A crate of five ducks that had been delivered to Lancaster station by mistake. They were rather smelly after 24 miles.

3. A hearing aid to be serviced to a Lancaster hospital after running the gauntlet of a picket line of staff strikes.

I did drive for Granada Studios when they were filming on location, with many a dash to the station to catch the London train after “just one more take”.

NHS failing on testing

From: Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK.

Recent research shows diagnosis of the autoimmune disease, coeliac disease, which affects one in 100 people, has risen in the UK from 24 per cent in 2011 to 30 per cent in 2015.

The fact that testing for the condition is slowing and nothing has changed in people being diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome before being tested for coeliac disease, suggests the NHS is failing to address the mountain of under-diagnoses.

We know this is even more urgent today as recent research is uncovering some symptoms of coeliac disease, specifically neurological ones that cannot be reversed without an early diagnosis.

Farmers’ woe

From: Ken Holmes, Cliffe, Selby.

To be a farmer you need the tenacity of a bull dog and the skin of a rhinoceros. Because some dairy products and most of fresh vegetable prices have shot through the roof, farmers are now getting the blame for the weather. What next?