YEP Says, April 4: A class struggle to help teachers inspire our kids

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IF the region’s children are to achieve their full potential – and Yorkshire is to move off the foot of the academic league tables – then more leaders in the mould of Sheila Howarth are needed.

IF the region’s children are to achieve their full potential – and Yorkshire is to move off the foot of the academic league tables – then more leaders in the mould of Sheila Howarth are needed.

The inspirational headteacher is credited with transforming the lives of countless students over the course of her 18 years at Leeds City Academy.

Yet, as the teaching unions frequently point out, too many teachers are leaving the profession before they can make a difference to the life chances of their pupils.

Four in every 10 teachers quit within a year of qualifying – a dismal statistic that threatens the consistency and cohesion of every child’s education.

Whilst many think the reforms instituted by former Education Secretary Michael Gove had merit, his successor Nicky Morgan must keep her promise to end the constant change.

It is simply unrealistic to keep shifting the goalposts and introduce different guidelines, criteria and targets on a seemingly annual basis.

There is a need for rigour within the schools system, but any reform must take great care not to alienate and ultimately teachers who would be an asset to the profession.

Students are expected to show respect for teachers – the same must also apply to politicians.

Time for Mike to get his house in order

AS unofficial landmarks of Leeds go, the Mike’s Carpets building in Armley takes some beating.

But sadly the former church has become an eyesore – which is why the council controversially handed over a large chunk of a lottery grant to owner Mike Smith to get vital restoration work under way.

But with little or none of it having been done, the council is well within its rights to demand its money back.

Mike has previously told the YEP how proud he is to have attained near cult status in his home city. But he needs to stop testing people’s patience and get a move on.

One of the drug testing wipes which turned blue after coming into contact with traces of cocaine.

YEP Says: Shining a light on an unglamorous drugs habit