Friday, 22 February 2008

Letters to the editor - pt. 2

Dear Sir

Our County Councillors have rightly condemned the Post Office for conducting "a consultation in name only" which is "dictation, not consultation". Did they think the County Council had a monopoly on behaving in this way? This is exactly what they are doing with regards to the future of the Rother valley schools.

I was also interested that our local County Council stooge, Mr Blair-Robinson, chose to portray the debate over the future of our schools as "old Labour" opposing what is a New Labour policy. Is our Conservative controlled Council incapable of independent thought on education? As a former Conservative councillor I am appalled that he chose to pretend that those opposed to the Academy were all motivated by old Labour ideology. He must be aware that an independent study of the first academies showed that they were a very expensive way of achieving virtually nothing. I was not aware that wasting money was now Conservative policy.

As a former pupil of Midhurst Grammar School I would like to point out that thanks to what he describes as a "slapdash" education I gained a place at Oxford. This was down to the dedication and skill of the teachers at the school in its "dark days". His attitude to the school and its teachers will only demoralise those who are dedicated to educating our children. Finally his threat that the school will be closed if he and his friends on the County Council don't get their way is simply pathetic. Maybe he is too motivated by ideology to care what anyone else thinks.

Yours faithfully

Peter O'Connell MA (Oxon)


Laurence said...

Like Mr O'Connell, I also have to thank a "slapdash" education from Midhurst Grammar School in getting me a place at the University of Oxford. I went up in the autumn of 2004 to attend the highly oversubscribed course of English Language and Literature. Those "dark days" at the Midhurst set me up both academically and socially for three years at an institution that is formally recognised as one of the best in the world. I cannot think of ways in which my teaching and support from the school staff (which included my Philosophy of Religion A-Level teacher, Mr Boxley) could have been more intellectually nourishing or motivating.
For those who would pass off my experience as an anomaly, I would like to point out that my elder brother, who left Midhurst Grammar in 2001, went on to gain a first class degree at the University of Bristol. He is now completing his PhD at the University of Cambridge where he is becoming a leader in his field of Earth Sciences. For all this he has to thank an enthusiastic and more than competent secondary education at Midhurst Grammar School.
This only leaves me to ponder on when exactly these "dark days", that Mr Blair Robinson refers to, actually were.

Laurence Harvey BA (Oxon)

resist! said...

Thankyou Lawrence. Now more than ever is the time to rally to the defence of your old school as it is threatened with closure in just five months time. Sadly the Academy which WSCC proposes to take its place is very unlikely to regard philosophy of religion in the same light as your former teacher!