YP Letters: Lessons to learn from loss of discipline

Are children taught sufficient respect in schools?
Are children taught sufficient respect in schools?
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From: Cyril Olsen, Busk Meadow, Sheffield.

TO me, the gradual erosion of school teaching, discipline and scholastic achievement since our schooldays is due to several factors, a key one being the different family life, parental control and moral standards of that time (Robert Halfon, The Yorkshire Post, November 26).

Children were brought up in two parent families and it was frowned upon for someone to give birth out of wedlock. In those days, rightly or wrongly, a child was classed as illegitimate whereas today there are many single parent families.

Children were taught to respect their elders and discipline in schools was much more in evidence than it is today.

School masters/mistresses were suitably dressed. and shown respect by their pupils. Any serious offence was dealt with by detention or corporal punishment. There were no security fences around the schools and definitely no security guards patrolling the school corridors.

I suggest that there has been a change of educational approach to schooling and discipline emanating from successive governments. Teachers are unable to control their classes as they would wish, for fear of repercussions from the school authority and parents if they “upset” their charges by exerting their authority.

Another major factor is the erosion of the visible presence of a police force in this country.

Children were brought up to respect the local bobby – if you did something wrong you sometimes got a clip around the ear from “the law”.

A third reason is, I suggest, the vast increase in immigration into this country, placing a strain on already limited education resources. Having a reported 
35 different languages spoken at Fir Vale School in Sheffield is hardly conducive to integrated classes and bringing out the best in the students.

What can be done to rectify this sorry situation? I do not have a ready solution. In fairness to teachers, they are doing an excellent job working under modern disciplinary constraints.

Voice for rail passengers

From: Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus.

AT last rail passengers will join other consumers in having access to free, independent, binding dispute resolution (The Yorkshire Post, November 26).

The Rail Ombudsman builds on years of successful work done by Transport Focus to help passengers resolve complaints, and to feed back from this experience to inform government policy and the work of the rail regulator. It boosts consumer power and brings rail into line with other industries.

We expect the ability of the Rail Ombudsman to impose binding decisions to resolve complaints – and the fact it can charge train companies fees for doing this – will drive improvements to the way most train operators handle passenger complaints.

We will track the work and effectiveness of the new scheme very closely to make sure the Rail Ombudsman delivers measurable benefits for passengers.

From: Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.

IF more trains ran on time in the first place, and train operators had proper customer service policies in place, an Ombudsman would not be needed (The Yorkshire Post, November 26). Simple.

Proud of our apprentices

From: Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive, NHS Employers.

WE’RE very pleased to see an increase in apprenticeships – and the recognition from the Department for Education of the progress made.

The NHS is incredibly proud of our apprentices, in all roles and at all levels. In the last year, employers across the NHS have worked hard to build the range of apprenticeships to develop their workforce.

We now have more apprentices training to be nurses, advanced clinical practitioners, healthcare scientists and nursing associates across the country.

However, policy reform is needed to continue the increase in apprenticeship roles. We must secure more flexibility in using the apprenticeship levy so employers can expand their apprenticeship offer.

Paper’s ethos still lives on

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

I’M sure that many of us were dismayed and uneasy, to learn that Johnston Press had gone into administration. Thanks to James Mitchinson’s “Clarion Call” (The Yorkshire Post, November 24), we learn that this paper’s forebear was founded by one Griffith Wright.

James’s brief history 
sums up the YP’s reputation for integrity and respect for diversity. Its journalists all seem to inhabit the same day-to-day world as us.

Over the ticket barriers at Leeds station, those who were unaware used to be greeted with ‘The Yorkshire Post – Covers the World and Yorkshire’.

The sign disappeared in the 1990s, but the ethos remains. Given the incestuously self-serving state of much of the UK’s political establishment, that prevailing ethos was never more needed and valued.

As an afterthought: is it time for ‘Leeds Intelligencer – 1754’ to be given a mention on the front page title? I dimly recall that it once was.

Not so elderly

From: Mrs GW Garnett, Marton cum Grafton, York.

I WOULD just like to point that 71 isn’t ‘elderly’, following your story ‘Elderly woman, 71, hurt in police crash’ (The Yorkshire Post, November 22).

You must be an exceptionally young team, methinks!