Readers' letters - September 16

Grammars denied me opportunity

Friday, 16th September 2016, 5:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 1:47 pm
Mobile phones can get confusing says a correspondent. Do you agree? Why not write in and tell us your views

After reading the two letters spouting off about how great grammar schools are, I would like to put forward the other side of the argument (WEP September 14).

I have personal experience I can draw on.

I failed my 11-plus in Cheshire as an 11 year old.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And then my dad was made redundant.

With the closure of the business, we, as a family, moved to Staffordshire where comprehensive schools had been introduced.

I got back the chance to take O-Levels which would have been denied to me in Cheshire and I got sufficient qualifications to enjoy a professional career for 40 years.

Grammar schools had written me off at 11 – what an inhumane system.

How typical of the Tories to want to bring it back.

The thin veneer of compassionate Conservatism has been shown to be what we always knew it was – a complete sham.

The Nasty Party for sure....

Graeme Liptrot

Address supplied


Information overload

I felt, as a 76-year-old grandmother, that I ought to get to grips with a smartphone to keep in touch with the family, including five teenage grandchildren who are spread far and wide, including America.

So earlier this year I embarked on the big adventure and have spent many hours since then learning how to use it.

Or have I?

I can do the simple things, make a call, send a text, take a photo – after that it gets very difficult.

There are so many possibilities that are completely beyond my understanding. I get advice and help from all the grandchildren, but then I have to remember it for the next time that particular problem crops up, not easy.

Facebook seemed a good idea, but I’m very worried about what I say being beamed into hundreds of phones of people I don’t know!

I daresay I shall understand what all the apps are all about one day, but by then the next all-singing all-dancing mobile will come out and I shall be back in the olden days with a useless outdated phone.

Catherine Watson

via email


Free support for parents

Starting a new school year can be daunting for any child, and for children with Type 1 diabetes it can be even more worrying.

Some children are still struggling to get the support they need to help them manage their diabetes or other health condition and fully participate in school life, despite it being a legal requirement in England since September 2014.

This could be putting the child’s safety at risk as well as comprising their academic potential.

This is why Diabetes UK has produced a raft of free support and education resources for parents and schools. Supported by our National Charity Partnership with Tesco, the Care in School Helpline is staffed by trained volunteers who can provide information about children’s rights as well as emotional support for parents.

Contact the Care in School Helpline, call 0345 123 2399 or visit

Stephen Ryan

Head of the North at Diabetes UK