Readers' letters - April 8

Disappearing childhood

Friday, 8th April 2016, 4:08 pm
Updated Friday, 8th April 2016, 4:11 pm
Something must be done before the education system is damaged beyond repair says a reader. See letter

I am dismayed that four-year-olds are to be tested upon starting school.

These are precious years and pass all too quickly. They should be a time when children are free to acquire a joy of learning whilst settling into school life.

A while ago my grandson told me he had 36 spellings to learn for a test to enable him to move on to the next level.

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Again, over the holidays, he has to learn a further 36 spellings in preparation for another test.

I pity these poor children and their teachers who have to implement this tough regime on children who are hardly out of babyhood.

Our teachers are well trained professionals who should be allowed to nurture our youngsters in a happy and care free environment.

What effect does this have on children who do not reach the required level?

Are they to be left with a feeling of failure at five years old?

I asked my grandson what he liked best at school, his reply was: “Fridays because we are allowed to play”.

This filled me with despair. He is five years old.

Now the ridiculous plan to turn all primary schools into academies.

It is not academies which raise standards.

It is the leadership of a good head teacher, happy well trained teachers, supportive parents, and a stress-free learning environment for our children.

Any wonder so many youngsters are suffering from depression and mental health issues. What has happened to childhood?

Please support our overworked and stressed teachers.

Let them teach without the constraints of testing and targets.

Teacher recruitment is in crisis with 83 per cent of teachers considering quitting the profession.

This can only adversely affect children’s education and something must be done now before our education system is damaged beyond repair.

E Smith

Address supplied


We can pick up litter

A few years ago my husband and I took a coach trip round the USA.

On all the freeways and approach roads to towns and villages were notices which read: “This stretch of freeway (highway) is looked after by The Ladies Guild of...” or “the Cub Scouts of ..” in other words, the rubbish was collected and disposed of by members of local communities.

We have become far too reliant on other people, particularly the Government and local councils, to do for us what we are quite capable of doing ourselves.

There is nothing to stop anyone from collecting the rubbish around their own place and disposing of it – I do outside my house.

Pam Clough

via email


Question: To stay or go?

In your letters pages, I have read many pro and anti-EU thoughts, but am still entirely confused as to which way to vote for. As a green socialist, I care about the NHS, libraries/other services, public transport, poverty, and wildlife/countryside just to name a few issues (all suffering under the present Government), no one has convinced me whether to stay or go is best. I have heard good things about the EU, I have also heard bad.

Confused Jane

via email