Letter: Pupils should be at heart of education

I wish to endorse the sentiments stated in your letters section with regard to the closure of Eskdale School by Chris and Tim Landers.

One of the recent meetings about the future of Whitby's education.

Both these former teachers are highly experienced in the local area and without doubt have the interests of the children at heart, quite unlike the financially motivated politicians who are making the decision to close the school.

Like Chris Landers, I am an ex-teacher of this wonderful local school and am deeply saddened that closure is imminent.

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My 16 or so years at Eskdale were truly the most enjoyable of a career at the ‘chalk-face’.

The kids were just brilliant, and a credit to their parents and the school.

Eskdale was, and still is, a community school with an ideology which had the development and well-being of its pupils as the primary concern.

Dave Bradley was an amazing caring leader of a most committed staff, to my knowledge he is still involved as a member of the governing body at the school and will still be working hard to ensure the best for local children.

Since my retirement 10 years ago I have come into contact with a great many former pupils and their parents, unsurprisingly they are all most complimentary with regard to the education received at ‘their’ school and are amazed that the authority have decided to close such a valuable place of learning.

I have read with interest the justification of retaining Eskdale and the probable effect upon sixth form education at the college.

It seems to me that the education of the few must take priority over the education of all. Nothing new there then!

Probably unlike many of the members of staff in Whitby, I have had vast experience regarding a large three-site comprehensive school, having taught in exactly that environment for over 20 years in Dagenham.

A very, very difficult situation with the losers always being the pupils, especially those requiring extra care.

To be successful in such an institution it will take staff of incredible ability, enthusiasm and humility as well as leaders who deeply understand the problems and solutions such a school would undoubtedly encounter.

With the closure of Eskdale it is my opinion that the future education provision in Whitby and the surrounding area is in for a very torrid time.

Bob MacDonald,

former head of PE,

Eskdale School