YP Letters: Misleading reports over SATs results

From: Dr John D Rayner, Humberdale Drive, North Ferriby, East Yorkshire.

Do SATs results for primary school pupils add up?

SADLY The Yorkshire Post is not alone amongst the media in its innumerate reporting of this year’s SATs results. Your front page headline (July 5) quotes the overall summary result as “40 per cent fail”, and this has been picked up by Hugh Rogers (The Yorkshire Post, July 10) as a simplistic stick with which to beat teachers.

Your main article (in line with other media reports) contrived this wholly misleading, superficial and prejudicial verdict which is not supported by the underlying figures released by the Government. That 61 per cent of children achieved the required standard in all of the subject strands does not mean the other 39 per cent have “failed” completely.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Given that we all should recognise and value the natural variety of talent and ability within each age group, so we should respect all individual achievements as well as praising those who succeed across the board.

The individual subject pass rates are given as 71 per cent for reading; 75 per cent maths; 77 per cent “SPaG” and 76 per cent writing, all of which are improvements on last year. These figures demonstrate that the maximum proportion of children to have not achieved standard across all the subjects cannot exceed 23 per cent, and it is highly likely to be rather less than that rate of one in four. It is absolutely not the two in five implied by your sensationalist headline.

If the Government can publish a figure for the proportion of children meeting standards in all subjects, along with the individual subject rates it should also publish the true inverse figure of the proportion not achieving standard in any subject. Then innumerate journalists should not invent misleading and erroneous headlines, which promote misguided and anguished comment on social media and stigmatise successful primary school children who have both strengths and weaknesses.

From: John G Davies, Alma Terrace, East Morton Keighley.

IF all the children that entered a school were identical, like bars of steel going into a factory, then Hugh Rogers would have grounds for criticising the “noble” teachers who “shift the blame on to the kids”.

Unfortunately the children’s abilities and temperaments are as different as their appearances. As well as genetic differences, the environment in which the children are raised plays a huge role in their academic success.

To take but one extreme example, how does Mr Rogers think that the children living in temporary accommodation after witnessing the tragic events of Grenfell Tower will be coping in school right now?

How long will those emotional scars hinder their progress in school? Children all over the country have their own traumatic experiences and teachers have to deal with fallout from them as well as teaching them Reading, ’Riting and ’Rithmatic. These are just some of the reasons why four out of ten children do not reach the benchmarks.

Religious cult of Remainers

From: Nick Martinek, Briarlyn Road, Huddersfield.

“MODERN” Remainers tell us that the we must supplicate to the EU on pain of impoverishment and isolation. Their language is religious; the EU an angry god that must be propitiated; only by sacrifice will we be even admitted to the halls of politically correct humanity, still less prosperity.

An exaggeration? Next time you read a Remainer’s opinion, ask yourself: is he demanding that the UK must give up our independence to be granted the privilege of merely selling into the EU’s single market? The inverse is for the EU to give up its sovereignty to us, in exchange for free access to the UK market. But that would be anathema to Remainers like Sir Vince Cable.

Actually the UK’s sales to the EU only amount to about a tenth of UK GDP, yet to hear the wails of anguish from the Remainers it is as though 90 per cent of our prosperity was in the EU’s gift. Be careful, the Remainers say, we must not upset the EU god lest we be cast into economic oblivion in perpetuity. We must bow to the EU, accept its admonishments, and give it gold. Lots of gold. The Remain worship of the EU is a religious cult, without rationality or equality.

From: John Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.

JOHN Cole (The Yorkshire Post, July 6) draws our attention to some interesting statistics on level of education and Brexit voting. The intended inference seems to be that those backing Leave had a lower capacity to comprehend the issues. I think it more likely that the relevant difference was in experience and interests.

The more affluent have felt the effect of EU migration through greater competition to prepare their meals and repair their houses, the less well-off through greater competition for their jobs and for somewhere to live.

Moral issue of parking ruse

From: Dai Woosnam, Woodrow Park, Scartho, Grimsby.

SO, a mother of three has won her epic battle with a parking firm after she made a mistake in typing her car registration number into the payment machine. It is a system designed to stop us doing kind deeds, and giving the space we have paid for, away to a stranger, when we have to leave it early.

Forget the questionable legality of councils selling the same space twice: what really makes me sad is to wonder at the twisted mind of the genius who thought up this cunning ruse, and then imagine him going to some conference of local government leaders, and doing a presentation for them on “here is a nice little earner for you”.

It tells me how our country has lost its way in moral terms.