Letters - November 27, 2019

Special education
Special education
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Remember education spending at election

As readers consider how to use their vote in three weeks, they may like to reflect that, though promises are being made about education spending, the facts belie some of the rhetoric.

According to figures from the Department of Education, all schools have had their budgets reduced in recent years but the reductions have been greatest in areas of greatest deprivation. Primary schools with the most deprived intakes have lost an average of £382 per pupil, while those with the least deprived intakes have lost £125. In secondaries, the picture is the same and the gap is £509 to £117. Of the 10 poorest local authorities in England, the cuts are above average in seven; of the 10 most prosperous local authorities, the cuts are below average in eight.

It has been estimated that, despite promised spending increases, next year 83 per cent of schools will be worse off than in 2014. None of this is consonant with pledges of a good start in life for every child, which all parties appear to make.

Alan Dent

Ex-President Lancashire NUT

POLITICS

You could vote for old man with beard

On Labour’s manifesto I wonder where Jeremy Corbyn has left his reindeer and sleigh.

All these bountiful gifts are to be showered on the population at the festive season and, if you still believe in fairies and Santa Claus, you can vote for the old man with the white beard.

Peter Horton

via email

POLITICS

We need change

- for all our sakes

If you are confused or plain fed up with this election, my advice is to lie down in a quiet darkened room and think about what is important to you and your family.

I just read a report that shows that the less equal and caring society is, the unhappier everyone becomes. Most important, of course, is our own health and the future of our children.

If we look back at the past nine years we have seen our hospitals and schools brought to breaking point with budget cuts and austerity. I know several staff members who worked in these sectors and have left because of the strain on their mental health and wellbeing.

They are a great loss to the organisations with all their experience, but they were let down by a system under immense strain. We must make a change in December for all our sakes.

Mark Vesey

address supplied

APPEAL

Help someone end their homelessness

As the cold nights of winter draw in it becomes more apparent how important home is to us all. While most of the country will be getting ready to celebrate with loved ones and looking forward to a home cooked Christmas dinner, there will be thousands of people facing the struggle of having nowhere safe to call home.

Many of us will have noticed the rising number of people sleeping on the streets where we live or work. But what we don’t see is that for every person on our streets there are another 12 families or individuals stuck in hostels, on sofas and in unsafe and insecure accommodation. No one should be forced to live, or spend Christmas, this way.

That’s why – outside of our year-round services – we running activities for our members in December, providing people experiencing homelessness with a range of activities from visits to the seaside to tours of museums.

But we don’t stop there. Our year-round training includes education and support with housing, employment and wellbeing. This long-term support helps people to rebuild their lives and leave homelessness behind for good.

But we can’t do it alone. We’re asking members of the public to help support our work this Christmas and year-round – so we can be there for everyone who needs us. So, please help reserve a place for someone at a Crisis Christmas centre, you’ll be helping to make someone’s wish to end their homelessness a reality.

To find out more or to donate to Crisis this Christmas please visit https://www.crisis.org.uk/christmas.

Steve Harding

Director of Crisis Skylight Centre

SOCIETY

Children should be tucked up in bed

Looking out of my kitchen window, a young woman passed by, with a child in a pushchair, and a second infant, by her side, hardly able to walk, no doubt on the way to a day nursery who, incidentally, are doing a roaring trade, and just another example as to how money is slowly destroying family life.

Children barely out of nappies should, at 7.30am, on a cold November morning, be at home, tucked up in bed, and it’s difficult finding words to describe whoever is responsible for looking after these children. Heartless would be a good start.

Alan Shipman

via email