Harmful advertising should be banned
In the New Year, new advertising rules will ban all forms of stereotyping, such as women cleaning or a man doing DIY tasks.
They are seen to be harmful, both to a person’s prospects of employment and to the economy.
Shouldn’t we also have new rules banning harmful car advertising?
A poster in the gents’ toilets at Knutsford Motorway Services reads: “Everyone loves the fast car smell.”
And a poster on petrol pumps at Esso petrol stations reads: “Fuel your Racing dream”.
Below it there’s a picture of a Formula One racing car, and beneath that, it reads: “The new fast”.
Also, Audi has launched a major campaign in the lead-up to Christmas.
Created by BBH London, Snow features the R8 V10 plus, the pinnacle of the Audi Sport high performance road car range, traversing a pristine snow field on a glorious winter day.
The film – shot on a frozen lake in northern Scandinavia – captures the power, speed (over 60mph), and elegance of the R8, demonstrating its ‘snow’ mode – a surprise to most.
Its ability to perform in all weather is reinforced by the tagline: “The Audi R8 with snow mode.
“Yes, it really does have a snow mode”.
As a cyclist, a road crash victim, and a member of the road crash victims charity, RoadPeace, I find all of these ads irresponsible and unacceptable.
The above advertising surely contributes to road death.
Indeed, they could be a direct cause of it.
Road death and global warming should surely dictate that they are banned.
Town’s legacy of poor government decisions
They are not a rare breed of pupil, born wearing a hoodie and an electronic tag as insinuated in the House of Lords debate. They are mostly bright, keen and enthusiastic - the majority want to be taught by good teachers in good schools in order to get good grades and good jobs.
However, it is those pupils who have to deal with the legacy of poor government decisions.
Blackpool is now, according to Mr Adonis, “a large, isolated town exhibiting alarming signs of disintegration”.
Why? Adonis attributed “poor education as being at the heart of this social crisis”.
True, Blackpool ranks 214/234 on the Social Mobility Index; there are some of the highest rates of mental illness and teenage pregnancies in the country and poor exam results are rife. Is the solution that has been suggested the cure to the crisis?
The answer, according to Mr Adonis: “The Prime Minister should appoint a Minister for good schools, based in Blackpool… with direct responsibility and funding for school improvement in areas of very low educational standards.”
Does Blackpool need a Minister, most probably sat in London (but based in Blackpool) directing the limited funding Blackpool pupils receive without any experience of what it is like being in a Blackpool school? And most probably without any experience at all in a school setting!
There is a teaching crisis and it is not exclusive to Blackpool nor is it fair to suggest that this is the case. Teachers across the country are unappreciated, unsupported and disillusioned. The same goes with support staff.
Is this the fault of a town? Or the legacy of poor government decisions?
Firstly, all of Blackpool’s secondary schools have become academies. A government initiative. Only two out of seven are deemed ‘good’ and ALL performed below average in GCSE results 2017. Who gets the funding for academies? The central pot of the academy trust. Money for disadvantaged pupils does not necessarily reach the disadvantaged pupils directly.
Secondly, academies are allowed (and indeed, encouraged) to employ non-specialist teachers, graduate trainee teachers or ‘fast track’ Senior Leaders. This means that pupils in areas that are vulnerable or in ‘social crisis’ are being taught and at times, led by people who are unqualified and inexperienced to do the job .
Thirdly, the resolution of people in government is usually to pay additional leaders copious amounts of cash to diagnose and write a report. Why not invest the money into the most integral part of schooling - the bread and butter teaching and the pupils themselves?
Katherine Atha and Susan Frain
Top Class Tuition
The ‘Play that Goes Wrong’ seems wrong
Anna Cryer’s recent announcement that the comedy The Play That Goes Wrong is to be the attraction at the Opera House in mid-August next year came as a surprise.
Firstly, because it would seem to be a show more suitable for the Grand Theatre and secondly puts paid to the Opera House staging a top musical for the summer next year. This totally puzzles me - we’ve had Mamma Mia for a successful reason yet such as the touring Miss Saigon hasn’t apparently been considered and would surely be a sell-out. Would the booking manager for the Opera House please tell us why?