I see that the perennial question of parental fines for taking children out of school during term time has arisen again (YEP, October 30).
From what statistics I have seen the majority of parents do so to go on holiday at the cheaper of peak rates. I feel that this is an unacceptable reason for doing so.
Several education groups and unions all agree that taking students out for a week or more can be detrimental to their education.
In a time where the odd percentage point could make the difference between an A or B grade the withdrawal could make that difference.
We all know how much pressure teachers work under from the Government, schools and parents and how much time and effort they spend doing this.
So it is highly unsupportive and disrespectful to the teachers for the parents to withdraw the children from school.
As to the parents who complain about the price of holidays being inflated during school holidays, you could say that the prices at these times are the norm and companies discount them in term time to attract other holiday makers.
I would say parents know the term times for their children often many years in advance so they should be able to do some reasonable planning to take holidays during them.
If they cannot afford a holiday period break then they should save until they can.
I do believe students could be allowed time off during term time but these should be for exceptional circumstances such as parents in the armed forces who may have no choice of holiday times, other parents with similar restrictions, or for funerals of close relatives.
If the fines are a way of ensuring that the minimum numbers of students are removed during term time then long may they continue.
And if parents do it for cheap holidays then the rate of the fine should exceed the savings these parents made on their holiday.
I have worked hard all my life and paid my fair share of tax and even though I do not have children, I firmly believe in my taxes paying for other education.
I also believe that parents who withdraw students from school during term time are insulting the teachers and tax payers who are trying to do their best for their children.
Ivan Kovacks, Leeds
What a load of rubbish Christopher Tyne writes (YEP, October 30) about parents taking their children on holiday during term time.
He says it is sheer hypocrisy for headteachers to report parents who do that, whilst at the same time allowing schools to be closed for staff training days.
That’s not comparing like with like. When a school is closed, all the pupils are in the same position, whereas a pupil taken out of a learning environment is immediately at a disadvantage to his/her peers as important tuition for any course of study is then missed.
It is very difficult, sometimes impossible, to catch up on missed work.
A pupil returning to school from a week’s holiday will immediately be behind, as there is bound to be a lack of understanding of a particular subject, having missed the important teaching that other pupils have received.
How can someone who has missed instructions on how to form the past tense of French verbs, for example, be expected to join his or her class and write sentences on what they did the previous weekend?
Missed learning has a knock-on effect and work from any pupil missing school will, in many cases, begin to deteriorate.
As for Mr Tyne’s assertion that ‘a child going on a foreign holiday for a fortnight is much more likely to learn or experience something far more valuable than he/she would sat at a desk in school’ – wouldn’t this ‘valuable experience’ happen if the foreign visit took place during the school holidays?
Or does it miraculously happen only in term time?
I Smith, Alwoodley
Cameron’s ‘lies’ over Europe
WHY DOES David Cameron tell so many lies?
He keeps saying that the British people are his concern and telling this to the European Union.
This is a lie. I have written to David Cameron. Have I got a reply? No.
He tells that many lies his nose must be growing like Pinocchio’s.
We need to be out of Europe, not stay in it.
Give the British people the referendum you promised them four years ago, Mr Pinocchio Cameron.
I thought he was going to get us out of the human rights laws, as well as Europe. Nothing has happened.
Roger Watkinson, Halton
Angel of the market
I WOULD like, through the YEP, to say a massive heartfelt thanks to the angel who handed in my brown corduroy handbag to the office at Leeds market on Monday October 27.
I am so grateful to you. You didn’t leave your name but I know you are a kind, loving person. Thank you so much.
Anne Harriman, Leeds
Feast of food programmes
FOOD PROGRAMMES shown on the first three Fridays in October were as follows:
5.30-6pm Come Dine With Me.
7-8pm The Great British Bake Off Masterclass.
8-8.30pm Gino’s Italian Escape: A Taste of the Sun.
8.30-9pm Lorraine Pascale in How to be a Better Cook.
9-9.30pm Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes. A case of supercalorificgavisconextra megadoses?
Dave Newbould, Allerton Bywater
Case of the missing seats
HARRY PARR (YEP, October 30) is irked that there are no seats in Kirkgate Market. Consequently it seems he collapsed and was in hospital for two days (the cost of which, incidentally, probably exceeded the cost of a few seats).
When the seats were removed by the council last year I did take up the matter with the relevant councillor who very kindly explained that the seats had ‘become the habitual meeting place for people who between them were causing anti-social behaviour problems such as drinking alcohol, loud swearing, litter and dogs in the vicinity.’
Quite right. Even if Harry can convince us that he is not a (a rather elderly) beer-swilling, swearing, litter-tossing dog, he must appreciate (as I pointed out then) that if he were sitting he would not be spending; and that would be quite unfair to Hammersons and the developers of Victoria Gate, Trinity, etc.
Age is no excuse, Harry!
Mike Harwood, Kirkstall
University’s costly library
READING OF the nightclub wanting to open until 6am, I noted that the University of Leeds, who are opposing this, are spending £27.5m on a new 24-hour library which will be next door to the nightclub.
My question is why 24 hours and why is it costing all this money?
It reminds me of Viv Nicholson who won the pools in 1961 and said she would ‘spend, spend, spend’. The difference is that it was Viv’s own money.
A Hague, Harehills
How can ITV continue to engage the services of a newsreader, Charlene White, who will not wear a poppy?
A century ago the best men of our Commonwealth – black, white and Asian – gave their lives to allow this stupid individual to voice her views.
She is betraying the memory of her forbears. Ignorance is not bliss, it is unforgivable.
Jack Banner, Meanwood