I WRITE as a parent of two girls who are currently attending Kirkburton Middle School.

The Shelley College prospectus for its unilateral proposal to destroy the existing pyramid reads like a ‘Dodgy Dossier’.

The front cover summarises the case for the proposal in two points: Improving standards; Increasing choice.

I am not taken in by the first point as objective OFSTED inspectors most recently identified only outstanding and good standards in the two middle schools.

The statistics which follow in the Shelley proposal do not compare like with like: a fair comparison can only be made by looking at a whole cohort passing through from first school to middle school and then to Shelley College. The comparisons have simply been made ‘In-year’.

As for increasing choice, Shelley College head Mr John McNally states on page 12 of the document that Shelley College would not be able to guarantee a place at year 9 for a child who had stayed at middle school.

This is not widening choice, it is removing choice: the choice by parents to continue with the existing excellent three-tier system.

Stephen Jones (parent)

Pastoral concerns

I AM totally against Mr McNally’s proposals for the Shelley Pyramid.

His only interests seem to be in increasing his own power and salary and increasing academic standards which are already very high.

Mr McNally has a misplaced belief that he can improve standards by forming a gigantic high school.

What if he is successful in his bid and standards go down? There will be no going back if he is successful and that happens.

Mr McNally appears to have no empathy for fellow teachers who will lose their jobs especially in the middle schools and no recognition of their contribution to the present success of his high school pupils.

Governors are guided by the head of the school they serve. Mr McNally’s influence is obviously very strong.

Angela Walker

Fenay Bridge

Doing town proud

I WAS privileged to attend the final rehearsal of “Huddersfield Fusion” at Harvest House.

If people are not aware of what this is it is children from different schools singing in choirs, playing instruments and dancing.

The children will be appearing at the Royal Albert Hall in London today (November 13).

I have to say I was amazed by the standard and enthusiasm of those taking part. I am sure they will do Huddersfield proud and we should be very proud of them.

When people criticise the young of today they should go to one of these concerts and just see what effort and commitment is put in by the children.

Eileen Taylor


Turning point

I WONDER if your readers are aware of the growing interest in wood turning which exists these days?

No one knows how many are beavering away quietly in their own sheds and garages but there are some good clubs about.

The Huddersfield group meets at Wooldale and offers superb demonstrations by renowned professional turners every month.

Many timbers are inherently beautiful under the bark and there are few pleasures to beat watching and controlling the process as it is revealed.

Anyone can quickly learn to turn a grotty looking bit of firewood into a thing of beauty and/or usefulness. There is a mass of information on the web. Just google “Wood Turners” or better still go straight to “huddersfieldwoodturners.org.uk”. We are not yet oversubscribed at Wooldale and offer a warm welcome to people of any age or sex whether they just want to look in once or twice to satisfy their curiosity or are ready to sign up for 12 months of fascinating and educational demonstrations.

If you do not use the web I would welcome your phone call on Huddersfield 461740.

Mark Mercer


Raising smiles

THE concert held in Armitage Bridge Church on October 27 raised £340 for the charity, Smile Train which raises money to help children in poorer countries who are born with a cleft lip and palate.

Thanks to all, participants and audience.

Norman Mellor


Christmas bonus

CHRISTMAS has come early for the chancellor, George Osborne.

He has received an “unexpected” 25 billion pounds from the Bank of England. He will use this money to significantly reduce the money he must borrow this month.

It seems that the Bank some time ago entered 375 billion pounds into its credit balance.

Crucially, this money was not included in Government borrowing figures, it was deemed financially neutral.

The Bank then used this money to bid at the Exchequer bond auctions, the IOUs the Government sells to balance its books.

The readiness of the Bank to buy bonds kept the interest rates payable on them to very low figures.

This in turn kept the bank rate at an historic low and kept down mortgage payments to millions of lucky borrowers, thus preventing the housing crash that Ireland and Spain have seen.

It also allowed the high street banks to pay more or less no interest on small savings accounts. So no losers except perhaps the pension funds and small savers.

The Exchequer has to pay interest on its IOUs, the bonds it sells. In the normal way of things that money is paid out and gone, often to foreign countries.

But for those bonds sold to the Bank, the interest is paid to the Bank. And, by some strange alchemy, it’s become real money, 25 billion smackeroos in fact.

And now the master stroke, the Bank gives the money back to the Exchequer, something other bond buyers are not noted for.

Top of the Christmas card list for George Osborne should be Gordon Brown. He initiated the scheme.

Gordon should also expect a flood of cards from the grateful mortgage holders, who have done very nicely thank you very much.

Don Robinson