YP Letters: School lesson in waste and complexity

Do free schools offer value for money?
Do free schools offer value for money?
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From: John G Davies, Alma Terrace, East Morton, Keighley.

FREE marketeer Toby Young sold the Government a pup with his free school programme. The NUT estimated that the Government had wasted over £100m on the 62 free schools, university technical colleges 
and studio schools that effectively failed to get of the ground (The Yorkshire Post, August 24).

Toby Young: Schools must select to lift Britain’s technical merit

His own West London free school has gone through three heads and he himself had to resign from various posts; yet here he is promoting more pie-in-the-sky ideas to resolve 
England’s shortage of skilled individuals.

I have long since lost count of the number of different types of state school that we have in this country. Every Education Minister seems to add his own pet scheme to mix without making any significant difference to the overall results.

My friends aboard are bewildered by the complexity of our system.

In France, Spain and Italy, theirs are based on a straightforward primary, middle and upper school system with specialisation only in the final two years, but all subjects are studied up to the end.

In France, even Philosophy is taken by everyone.

Finland, consistently one of the best performers, has an even simpler seven to 16 years comprehensive arrangement.

They believe that the comprehensive nature of their schools is the key to their 
high achievement across the board.

A new era of prefabs

From: Christine Withers, Grasmere Road, Dewsbury.

I CAN thoroughly endorse correspondent Terry Morrell’s recent suggestion on these pages about prefab houses and have been going to write myself to suggest that councils could consider them, to ease the present housing difficulties.

My father Sydney Withers, who worked for the Ministry of Works from 1938-1958, was involved in the design of these excellent houses in London in the last 18 months of the war.

He then spent time 
overseeing the erection of them in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. In 1947 he was transferred to Yorkshire and was able to live at home.

Again he was responsible for the erection of three types of temporary house in Leeds and areas of West and East Ridings.

The houses were given a 10 year lifespan. Most of them lasted until the 1970s as they were easy to maintain.

Every house had a good size plot of land, where a lot grew their own vegetables and had lovely flower gardens.

Builders only want to build large houses costing the earth – not necessary!

Powers of prediction

From: Dr David Hill, CEO, World Innovation Foundation, Huddersfield.

IN the future, and from now on when I hear the name of Philip Hammond, I will just think in amazement of how he is a seer of the future and doomsayer all rolled into one.

How such an intelligent being can predict that a no-deal Brexit will increase borrowing by £80bn a year by 2033 is just beyond my comprehension when he did not even see the global meltdown coming in 2007?

Indeed, if the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer had such miraculous predictive powers, then he could have warned us 
all some 15 years before the 
crash happened (as he is now predicting about Brexit) and saved us all a whole load of grief.

Or could it possibly be that our Government hierarchy is just basically losing it completely and Brexit is affecting its collective minds?

Arrogance at top of the BBC

From: Paul Rouse, Main Street, Sutton upon Derwent, York.

AN interview with the supremely arrogant BBC director David Jordan following the recent High Court ruling was proof, if proof were needed, that the BBC consider themselves to be beyond reproach. Despite the ill-advised helicopter antics, self-congratulatory emails, and colossal waste of public money, the idea that someone should lose their job as a result of the Sir Cliff Richard debacle was dismissed out of hand.

Anyone who has ever dealt with or worked for the BBC knows that it operates in its own little world. Just to watch Points of View is enough to know that BBC managers will never admit that they are wrong.

It really is about time that someone got hold of this organisation and taught it to respect those of us who have to fund it and expect our money to be spent wisely.

Scenes of urban blight

From: J Barraclough, Morley.

I HEARD with horror from someone who is looking after a property in Harehills, Leeds, of the total devastation there. It was described as being like a ‘third world’ country.

Apparently council lorries go round with regular monotony picking up furniture, mattresses, fridges and God only knows what else which has been dumped in the streets.

Is this how hard-working people’s taxes are being spent?

I am sure that there are many more areas in the UK like Harehills where lives are being blighted.

Of course there will be the same old rhetoric that we need more police but, even if we had a policeman standing on every corner in the country, our politically-correct system ties their hands so that the perpetrators win out over the victims.

Are there any politicians out there who will admit that this situation is no way ‘enriching’ us as we have been told continuously for so many years?

Brexit – bring it on!