Letters - April 16, 2018

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Have your say

Beware creeping rise in class sizes

A recent analysis of official figures by education unions suggests that two-thirds of secondary schools in England have increased the size of their classes in the past two years.

This causes me great concern.

It is really important to have small class sizes for children as the one-to-one support and feedback gives them a much greater benefit in their education.

Small class sizes allow staff to truly understand the needs of every pupil and support them in the best way for everyone.

Having fewer pupils in classrooms also allows teachers to get to know pupils on a more personal level and it brings a real sense of community to the school.

Small class sizes allow teachers to nurture pupils’ talents and help them to reach their full potential.

If school class sizes continue to grow, it will become increasingly more difficult for teachers to monitor pupils’ personal progress and give them the individual attention they require.

The analysis, which looked at figures between 2014-15 and 2016-17, found that, in some areas, secondary schools have had average rises of three more students per class.

If the average class size is 20, then that is almost a 25 per cent increase!

It is important to note that the Department of Education has said the figures in this analysis are flawed and states that the average class sizes have seen little change since 2010.

I think it is crucial that we keep an eye on our pupils’ class sizes and ensure they are getting the support they need

Jackie Griffiths

via email


‘Couple’ show gulls’ nice nature

I wholeheartedly support Pat O’Connor’s letters, regarding the plight of the seagulls.

The people who complain and say they should be culled reveal a very unattractive side to their characters.

A letter of mine was published three years ago regarding two seagulls (male and female “a couple”, as the jargon goes), which I’ve been feeding every day for five years now. They come on my garage roof every morning, then the male comes on my kitchen windowsill, only inches away, and watches me preparing their breakfast.

I love those two seagulls. They are more than just “nasty seagulls”. They are my pets.

I have had neighbours complain to me about feeding them. In fact, netting was put on my chimney where they nested every year, and where I watched their young grow up each year, so that now, they’ve had to move to another chimney a distance away and I no longer have this pleasure. Not only are the two seagulls fed every morning, but also all the other birds as well (including two squirrels).

Our fishing industry has declined dramatically, and the many trawlers which used to supply food as the seagulls followed them home, are a fraction of what they used to be, so gulls have to find an alternative supply of food from somewhere. If people were tidy (as we were brought up to be 50 years ago) and put their fish and chip boxes in a bin nearby or, alternatively, take their rubbish home with them, then seagulls would not have learned how to snatch it from them.

Mrs J Geddes



I support fine for pavement parking

I fully endorse the call for vehicle drivers who park partly (sometimes 75 per cent) over pavements be fined.

Whilst the department of transport consider this I would suggest they also look into the practice of large, commercial vehicles being parked along residential streets.

I am frequently prevented from keeping an eye on elderly, infirm neighbours living opposite me because of large vans parked immediately in front of my house and over the pavement. I have even seen mothers with prams and push chairs similarly endangered and having to walk in the roads.

Neil Kendall

South Shore


MPs, represent 
the electorate

I, and many others, will be watching very carefully how our local MPs in the North West will be voting on any Brexit issues.

We, the electorate, who voted them in, voted Brexit and we expect them to represent our view and vote accordingly.

We did know all the issues and are not stupid and ill-informed as the media and remainers keep telling us.

The issue regarding the figure on the side of the bus was questioned and corrected way before the referendum so please, please, stop quoting that.

The savings in MEPs’ fat cat salaries, with their subsidised accommodation, travel, medical care and children’s education will 
save thousands a year in itself. MPs, Brexit was voted in, so represent the electorate, no matter what your party line.

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