Letters, Saturday, May 26th, 2012

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Is Ofsted really value for money?

HAVING recently received a copy of my daughter’s primary school’s latest inspection report, I was struck by how much of the content was already well known to me and other parents. Indeed much of the report was banal, repetitive and could arguably apply to virtually any school without any major issues.  

Particularly annoying was the patronising glossary of terms used in the report: “Attendance: the regular attendance of pupils at school.” “Behaviour: how well pupils behave in lessons.” “Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge.”

So far it would appear Ofsted has successfully confirmed that schools like Fulwell Juniors and Cleadon Village CE Primary are “outstanding” while some schools in less affluent areas are struggling. Does it really take an expensive inspection process to reveal this? Surely Ofsted should focus its attention on underachieving schools rather than being used as a weapon with which to police the implementation of politicians’ ideologies.

Surely the way children learn is apolitical and should be unaffected by whichever government is in charge.

I seem to remember previous inspections reporting on the value for money offered by schools. Isn’t it about time taxpayers started asking the Government how cost-effective Ofsted is?

Tim Dumble, Cleveland View, South Bents, Sunderland

Olympics a waste

I THOUGHT I had to write in about Mervin King. How on earth can he blame the Queen for the recession? Has he forgotten about this other waste to taxpayers’ money, the Olympics?

It is costing billions and is not finished yet. We have got all this security to come yet. At least when we have other sports event the venues are already there, namely football, cricket and tennis.

We can only hope that the Olympics never comes back here again. Just take a look at Greece. They held it there a few years ago, and two-thirds of the places they built have never been used again.

Mr M. Hardy, Gleneagles Road, Grindon

Wayne’s pains

SO that paragon of virtue, he of a sporting Corinithian upbringing, the hair-again apparent Wayne Rooney, says that he and the Man United players will not forget Sunderland fans’ reaction to Manchester City’s title-winning victory over QPR, minutes after the end of the SAFC-MUFC final game of the season at the SoL.

It was just banter, Wayne. On the same day at Everton they sang “Champions League, you’re having a laugh” to Newcastle supporters. At Stoke they sang “City’s put you down” to the travelling Bolton followers, and so it goes on.

Croxteth-born Scouser Wayne Rooney showed his character a few seasons ago at Goodison Park, the home of the club he supported, who he played for, who made him and whose fans worshipped him, when after scoring for Man United against Everton, he slid across the turf and kissed the Man United badge in front of the Blues fans in the Gwaldys Street End.

Apparently many people from the city of your birth won’t forget that either, Wayne. “Once a blue, now a red, in our hearts you are dead” is the Rooney song at Goodison now because of this.

Tom Lynn

Great evening

MANY thanks to Janette Hilton and the volunteers of the Donnison School for a fantastic Music Hall Evening on May 18 as part of the consultation weekend on the future of Holy Trinity Church in the East End of Sunderland, in conjunction with The Churches Conservation Trust.

There was a lot of planning involved and I know how hard everyone worked to get the event up and running.

The Music Hall show was made up of soloists, choirs and dancing, with MC Norman Kirtlan keeping the whole thing running along smoothly. Some of the acts had never performed in front of an audience before and very bravely offered their services despite the very real threat of last-minute stage fright.

Thank you also to a very enthusiastic and supportive audience, some of whom arrived in costume which added another dimension to the overall atmosphere.

I was unable to attend the events the following day and I understand the Family Fun Day and the Young Voices musical evening were also very well received, with lots of positive feedback from all concerned.

But the Music Hall was a real bonus and will be talked about for years to come – for all the right reasons.

Once again, thank you to everyone who took part throughout the weekend, and a special thank-you to our gorgeous and glamorous Music Hall stars – you know who you are.

Sharon Vincent

Metal thefts

HOW many more times are we to be told of metal thieving? They are certainly not doing it for artistic reasons.

Even a thicko like me can see they are stealing to order. The dealers should be jumped on. No market, no sale, no theft.

A. Pollitt, Sunderland

Special thanks

I WOULD like to thank the person who found my concessionary bus pass on the 39 bus and handed it in to the driver.

I was very grateful to both.

W. Rogerson