Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Advantages of Move to Different School

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Advantages of Move to Different School

Article excerpt

I have read your reports on proposed closures of schools with too few pupils, and the reaction of pupils, as well as parents, when it hits their offspring.

Other than the worry about how to get to and from a new school if it is too far away, and the time spent on such a journey, I cannot understand the opposition of parents to this development.

In a different school with more pupils their children have a much better chance to make friends, as there is a larger choice. There is more competition amongst pupils, which will encourage their children to keep up with the others in their group.

I myself have been in four different schools because of my father's profession, which made him settle in different towns. But because of that I had easily four times as many friends as if I had remained in one school all the time. Granted, both my parents helped me to settle in the new school, which certainly helped to deepen my relationship with my parents - we were a very integrated family. Anyhow, these schools which are to be closed because of shrinking numbers cannot supply the same opportunities, variety of subjects etc, as large establishments.

Elisabeth Scherpf,

Transfer power to North-East England

MANY thanks to Paul Linford for pointing out in The Journal last Saturday that the `No' campaign to regional government is a completely negative campaign.

In recent weeks we have seen claims that regional grants have failed us despite the protestations of a Whitehall senior civil servant, and also stories about how the North-East is losing out to London and the South-East both in terms of money for transport and for the London Olympic bid for 2012. We also have the highest unemployment rate of any region in the UK and are also the poorest region. We have the lowest educational attainment of any region in England and Wales, while the Northumbria Police Authority area, which covers much of our region, has the highest rate of violent crime.

There is an old and very wise saying that "if it ain't broke don't fix it". It seems clear to me that the political system for North- East England is broken and in need of urgent attention and overhaul.

Yet we hear nothing positive from the `No' campaign, except for some vague talk of North-East MPs doing more. This, of course, completely misses the point, as they have to deal with the power structure centred in London. They can campaign for North-East interests all they want, but if Whitehall and Westminster decide that it doesn't fit their agenda, they can reject our MPs any time they wish. The Jarrow marchers got a cup of tea and nothing more, and more recent deputations from our region, on behalf of coal mines, shipyards and steelworkers have been met with the same disinterest, bordering on contempt. That is why we so desperately need power transferred to North-East England. …

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