YP Letters: Unfair to criticise teachers over holidays and closures

From: Brian H Sheridan, Lodge Moor, Sheffield.

The teaching profession is being defended.

I HAVE great sympathy for MJ Thompson’s son-in-law whose job gives him absolutely no control of the dates of his holidays, resulting in his having to take his children out of school during term time (The Yorkshire Post, September 4). However, your correspondent should not use the situation to make a thinly-veiled criticism of the teaching profession.

To compare days of school closure for bad weather or any other reason with the absence of an individual pupil is to miss the point. When the school is closed, that pupil is not missing any lessons: in other words they are not losing ground on their classmates. Teachers prepare structured schemes of work for classes: a week’s absence or even more can create gaps in the learning process which are very hard to bridge. There are no easy solutions. It is unrealistic to expect teachers to set holiday work for absentees and unfair on the children who need a change as much as anybody else. I can only hope that MJ Thompson’s grandchildren will not suffer too much. They do appear to have a caring parent (and grandparent), which matters most in the great scheme of things.

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From: Max Nottingham, St Faith’s Street, Lincoln.

A programme on radio about looking after young people said “Our motto is ‘be kind’.” On the many adverts for many schools there is no promise to “be kind” to children. Don’t modern schools believe in being kind to children?

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

Is there any wonder teachers are quitting the classroom? (The Yorkshire Post, September 3). They are not allowed to discipline unruly pupils who disrupt the lessons and then inform the teacher that they, the teacher, cannot touch them.

They have to deal with unsupportive parents who blame and often abuse the teacher instead of controlling the child, interfering Government changing the rules and often the curriculum for no apparent reason and a lack of funding all round. I wouldn’t have touched the job with a barge pole under today’s circumstances.

Chequers plan betrayal

From: Ger Smith, Boston Spa.

Despite reservations I foolishly continued to trust Theresa May’s promise that ‘out means out’. Yet we now have a total betrayal of the Brexit vote in her dog’s dinner of the Chequers plan – which means “part out and part in forever” apparently.

When news of this became public originally, I wrote to the Prime Minister, as I suspect thousands of others did, and who will be as angry as I am if we are betrayed by politicos.

If I were a medieval Earl, I would certainly have raised the North, the Midlands and Wales by now to ensure our Leave vote is honoured in full.

Inequality over care

From: DS Boyes, Leeds

Latest figures on the ongoing and increasing public spending per head in Scotland show that England is being even more discriminated against.

Apart from the many free services in Scotland, which we in England pay full price for, one of the most discriminatory aspects is care of the elderly, when medical problems of dementia begin. Care in Scotland is also free, whereas in England, thanks to the 1990 Community Care Act, assets are seized down to the pitiful level of £14,250.

So much for the ‘United’ Kingdom when laws like this don’t apply in Scotland.

The dementia tax cost Theresa May her majority in 2017 and I believe if this is not addressed as a matter of urgency then Jeremy Corbyn is likely to be our next PM. Perish the thought!

We always believed the Conservative Party supported hard work, self-sufficiency and saving. Where care is concerned, apparently not.

Tackle the danger drivers

From: Allan Ramsay, Radcliffe Moor Road, Radcliffe.

Bring in zero tolerance of lawless drivers, and wouldn’t more children embrace walking and cycling, and a healthy future? Wouldn’t it reduce stress, air pollution, asthma, strokes and heart attacks, congestion, the NHS crisis, and the UK’s carbon footprint?

No, it’s not autumn yet

From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle.

I WAS both intrigued and fascinated to learn from the BBC’s weather forecaster that autumn started on September 1.

Am I missing a trick? According to my diary – and for that matter through the past 79 years – it has started on the Autumnal Equinox, this year on Sunday September 23.

Is this perhaps another of those dictum from Brussels?

Should we carry on like this Christmas will start on December 1 and Easter by the end of February. Get a grip BBC, the public are not entirely daft.

Tax code

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

While I agree those using tax avoidance schemes should not be on the Queen’s Honours list, wouldn’t it be more sensible to close all these schemes, or do our MPs find them convenient for sheltering their own money from the Inland Revenue?

Loyal subject

From: Iain Morris, Saltaire.

With his thoughts on loyalty (The Yorkshire Post, August 30), it would seem Neil McNicholas, the parish priest in Yarm, has landed in the ‘real’ world.