Monday, 28 January 2008

Academy Opposition Against Party Policy

Below are two letters published in today's Lincolnshire Echo (Top from Giles McNeill).
It is now admitted by county council Labour group leader Coun Rob Parker that his group's academy plan opposition goes directly against his Labour Government's policy.

This is a policy that his colleague, the city's current Labour MP, whole- heartedly supports!

The current leader of the Labour group on the city council, Coun Ric Metcalfe, and his colleague Coun Karen Lee, both also castigated their own Labour Government's policy on academy schools.

So which parts of the Prime Minister's often repeated "There will be honest disclosure. We will be straight with the British people. There will be no sleight of hand. What you see will be what you get" do Lincoln's current Labour MP and her opposition councillors supposedly aspire to?

Having worked in a major education authority in the North West, and thereafter as a bursar of a large secondary comprehensive school, I was interested to note the story (January 17) with regard to the "rethink on school academies".

While I may agree with some of the comments made, I certainly believe that the education system in this country should go beyond party politics, and not be subject to the whims and so-called initiatives of Educational Secretaries of State.

What is required in the 21st century is to leave schools and teaching to the professionals, and to take into account exactly what our businesses and industrial companies require from their varied work forces to sustain a well balanced economy.

Surely the whole purpose of education is to create a situation where our young people can learn to read, write and express themselves articulately, to learn about our country's past achievements and relate them to the present world, and to develop their own personal skills and talents whether it be in practical vocations, the arts or in academic work.

This cannot happen when party politics chops and changes the directions of our education system, leaving less time for teachers to teach and as a result many pupils (or so it seems) do not have a grasp of the basics even when entering secondary school.

What is needed is a consensual approach to education by our politicians; agreement on a basic common syllabus at all stages, and a reduction of class sizes throughout the entire system.

Hopefully by reducing all unnecessary effort the standards of education would improve, and children would be encouraged and motivated by their teachers who would be able to teach, not undertake work towards unnecessary so-called administrative targets.

ALAN WADDINGTON Viking Way, Metheringham.

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