YP Letters: Trotskyist teachers let down schools

Jeremy Corbyn attended a grammar school - as Theresa May reminded him during Prime Minister's Questions.
Jeremy Corbyn attended a grammar school - as Theresa May reminded him during Prime Minister's Questions.
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From: Jack Brown, Lamb Lane, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.

I JOINED Barnsley Labour Party in 1961 when I was an ex-grammar school manual worker. Comprehensives had been Barnsley Borough Council policy since shortly after the war.

John G Davies (The Yorkshire Post, September 12) questions the “reasoning and knowledge” of Peter Davies and his column (September 7). The former mayor of Doncaster was a teacher in a comprehensive school for most of his working life. Although we are from opposite sides of the political divide, we completely agree that the greatest enemy of comprehensive education has been the post-comprehensive teaching profession.

Last Saturday, I attended Jeremy Corbyn’s hustings in Barnsley Miners’ Hall. Every speaker who attacked the return of grammar schools received a standing ovation from an audience that contained a disproportionate number of Trotskyist teachers who ensured that Barnsley comprehensive schools did not reach grammar school standards. I stress “Barnsley” because elsewhere – mainly in Tory local education authorities – they have done so.

They’ve had 40 years to do it and they’ve failed. They need a grammar school to remind them what proletarian children – I was the son of a miner born into poverty they can’t imagine – are capable of.

From: Edward Grainger, Botany Way, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.

FOLLOWING on from Ian Richardson’s excellent letter as a teacher with over 30 years experience (The Yorkshire Post, September 7), the piece on the opposite page by Peter Davies should be essential reading for the new Education Secretary.

Not for the first time in the pages of The Yorkshire Post, the former mayor puts forward many unpalatable thoughts.

Yorkshire schools and academies are failing as a result of “interfering educationalists and politicians”. Until the best teachers teach in the worst schools and academies, the ill-educated, skills deprived, no nothing society of today will prevail.

From: David Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe.

WHETHER the supporters of the re-introduction of grammar schools like it or not, there will inevitably be winners and losers, but not necessarily in the way some may imagine.

Some of our young children today lack self-esteem. How will these children react when told that they haven’t reached the required standard to enter the grammar school?

Quite honestly it’s anybody’s guess. So can we afford to put these children through this ordeal where the result could have such a devastating effect on their wellbeing? In their own eyes, those of some of their parents, and friends who may have passed the exam themselves, they will deem themselves to have failed.

From: Rachel Maister, Priest Lane, Ripon.

IT is maddening that Theresa May wants to bring back grammar schools since this would involve selection, immediately excluding children who could make top engineers but not be selected because of poor reading and spelling 
(The Yorkshire Post, September 15).

Engineering requires the ability to imagine objects in different orientations. Unfortunately, however, this causes reading and spelling difficulties because of the interference of these mental images.

However, poor reading and spelling results in failure to obtain a place in a grammar school, thus excluding gifted engineers from a university education.

From: John Fisher, Menwith Hill, Harrogate.

THE removal of the training boards by the Thatcher government damaged apprentice training and we have continued to struggle with skills training in this country.

Like many thousands of the 1950s generation, I failed the 11 plus, but with an apprenticeship. I was able to provide and sustain a home for my family. Today we have some young people who appear to have the stark choice of university or a low paid temporary job.

We are facing a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople and rely on other countries to provide them. Returning to the UK of the 1950s is not an option, but we could – and should – be providing the apprentice training opportunities that were available to our young people then.

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

THE Government has quite enough to do over Brexit without having a political dabble into education. Anyone involved in education knows that pupils learn best when taught in groups of similar ability – hence streaming in comprehensive schools is the best way to give all pupils an equal chance of achieving their potential.

From: Margaret Bussey, Briarfield Avenue, Idle, Bradford.

AN excellent article by Neil McNicholas – his piece ‘When selection was not a dirty word’ (The Yorkshire Post, September 12) highlights what is lacking in the current educational system, and that is common sense.

Get cooking on TV drama

From: M Dobson, Feversham Crescent, York.

EXCELLENT news that Channel 4 has taken on, at great expense, that terrible programme The Great British Bake Off. I suppose it is too much to expect that the BBC will use the £15m saved to commission some decent drama or, heaven forbid, spend it on sports coverage.

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

IS it only me who resents the number of adverts for future programmes that have recently started to appear on the BBC with increasing regularity?