Letters, Thursday, March 14, 2013

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Reducing the amount of PE just isn’t good sport

WITH regards to the letter from the ‘Concerned Parents’ on Thursday, February 2, titled ‘Pupils will suffer’, I too have a son at Southmoor Academy and another child due to go there.

 I must say, previously, I have had nothing but praise for the school, its staff and its leadership team.

 Dr Ingram is a very inspirational speaker and I truly believed in his ethos that he wanted children to come to school, not because they have to, but because they want to.

 In his latest speech to parents of new pupils looking to join in September, he talked a lot of this and the extra curriculum activities that children can do and enjoy at their leisure.

 Another selling point was about the school having the Martin Gray academy, where children will be given the opportunity to be trained by ex-professional footballers and will have matches against other academies.

 The training, yes, has happened, however, the matches have yet to go ahead, not quite what was expected. Is this just another tool to attract children to the school?

 Dr Ingram is very proud of his school and the results the school achieves. There is no doubt that the school has improved since Dr Ingram became Principal.

 However, I can’t help feeling very let down as of late. Dr Ingram’s vision was for the school to become an Academy so that he wasn’t constricted to a set curriculum and he could introduce new things to the school.

 Once again, he succeeded in drawing the parents in on this idea, we supported this and it all seemed rosy. Yet since becoming an Academy, things have changed and I no longer feel that the children’s best interests are at the heart of it all.

 In a city where obesity is off the scale, and the Government is promoting excercise and healthier lifestyles, he reduces the amount of time that a child spends doing P.E. This I simply cannot understand!

 The redundancy of Mr Secker, for example, means losing a fantastic P.E teacher who really puts the interests of all children at the heart of everything he does.

 There had been concerns that the Year 8 football team would fold due to no longer having a teacher that could support them.

 However this has been prevented due to support coming from the Martin Gray academy, and I’d like to thank the coach concerned on behalf of the children and parents for his support in this.

 Having said that, come September, we will be a teacher short. Does this then mean not all years will be able to have a football team? This remains to be seen.

 I’d like to close in reminding Dr Ingram of three of his statements included in his five-year vision:

* Purposeful leadership will be infused across the entire school community.

 Every member of the school community will share a sense of common ownership and will take active responsibility in the care and development of the school.

 Systems will be in place to capture and respond to all views. Individuals will be fearless in making decisions for the benefit of the school.

* Community and individual well-being will be at the heart of what we do and what we value. Morale, well-being and a sense of belonging will be treated as tangible issues. The subject of empirical study and strategic planning and action. Celebration will be a serious business.

* The school community will share a broader definition of education. We will consciously strive to create emotionally intelligent young people who will be good parents, partners and friends and whose existence will enrich the whole community.

Another concerned parent.

Thanks for nothing

THIS morning I received a letter from Department of Work and Pensions. I left school at 14, like many others, and started making my contributions.

 Now, having reached 80 years of age, I was disgusted to learn the British Government, in their wisdom, have granted me an “Age Addition” of, wait for it, twenty five pence.

Ex L/Sgt Guardsman at Suez,

No longer proud to be British.

Chivalrous man finds much-loved posession

I WOULD relish the chance to tell you of a random person who did a very nice favour.

 We were strolling through Dalton-le-Dale enjoying the beautiful day on March 2, and having a history lesson from my Dad. He was regaling stories of Deneside, Parkside and the old netty which sank into the bog.

 We came to the park where my two sons had a bit of a play then finished by walking through Deneside, Eastlea and back to Westlea.

 We returned home and my youngest claimed he no longer had his iPod. After a quick panic we set about retracing our steps, by car this time.

 We went back to Dalton play park and scoured the area without any joy, as we were about to leave someone said: “Are you looking for a phone?”, “Like a phone”, I said “but it’s an iPod.”

 After a hearty handshake and a proud walk back to the car we were back in possession of my son’s much-loved possession.

 This man’s chivalry should be commented. Unfortunately, we did not get his name so cannot thank him directly. However, we hope he reads this article and feels a warm satisfaction that some people are truly valiant.

 There is a hidden (covered in vegitation) wishing well in Dalton-le-Dale and in here you will find our wish to them.

Laird Anthony E. Place,

Edinburgh.

Is Great Britain becoming more like Cold War Russia?

IN the 1960s when the Cold War was at its height, there were reports coming out of the USSR detailing the living conditions in Moscow.

 Under the Communist regime, it was deemed that each person required a specific living space and they were housed in apartments depending on the size of the family. We in the West held our hands up in horror at this.

 In April 2013, under the cuts imposed by this Government, people living in social housing with a spare room will either have to move to smaller accommodation or pay a higher rent. What is the difference between this and the inhabitants of Russia?

 It seems to me that this Government, which is leaning towards the right wing of politics, is basing its policies on extreme left wing views. Can anyone explain why?

Malcolm Hartburn,

Washington.