SIR – I am head of maths in an independent school. Over the Easter holidays my department trained in online teaching. Since the very first day of this term, every single timetabled maths lesson has been delivered to each of our Year 9, 10 and 12 pupils.
一本道理不卡一二三区Homework has been submitted online, marked and returned. If anything, undistracted by the temptations of full school life, many of my pupils are in an academically stronger position than would have been the case had we not had the school closure.
It strikes me that those students for whom I am responsible have an enormously unfair advantage. Surely, the sooner we make proper provision for all pupils, the better?
一本道理不卡一二三区It cannot be right that children without such privilege and good fortune are being held back unnecessarily. Even if their teachers are in a position to deliver online lessons, not all students will have the access to the appropriate technology, or a quiet, safe working environment.
A crisis will always be an opportunity for political point-scoring. But to sacrifice children’s future – as well as their present – on the altar of such manufactured concern seems to me to be deeply unfair. Ultimately, it is those who are already at a disadvantage who will suffer the most.
一本道理不卡一二三区SIR – The row between the Government and the teaching unions reminds me of divorcing couples. It is always the children who get hurt.
一本道理不卡一二三区 Nant Peris, Caernarfonshire
SIR – Teachers are no doubt grateful for, and make full use of, the services provided by health and care workers, delivery drivers, postal workers, food shop assistants, police officers and many others who, in spite of increased Covid-19 risk, have continued to work.
一本道理不卡一二三区What would be their response should those workers, or their trade unions, decide they should withdraw their labour?
一本道理不卡一二三区Time for the teachers, therefore, to recognise they, too, provide an essential service and accept that they should not be so selfish and lacking in the community spirit they expect from others, as to block the proposed opening of schools.
Risk cannot be entirely eliminated, and there are no health and safety regulations that require it to be. It can, however, be managed, and there is no shortage of proposals to accomplish this.
一本道理不卡一二三区SIR – As a retired teacher, may I suggest that teaching and learning are based on solving problems? Could teachers not practise what they preach? Even Socrates did not believe in spoon-feeding.
Sort it out; excite the imagination.
SIR – I do not recognise the Church that the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell一本道理不卡一二三区, Archbishop of York designate, describes as active in communities during the coronavirus pandemic (Comment, May 11).
I organised a support network of 40 volunteers in our rural parish in Derbyshire, thinking of this as the Church in action, only to have this link with the Church abruptly stopped by an edict on March 25 from the Bishop of Derby: “You may choose to volunteer as an individual, in response to requests from statutory providers, where you can do so safely. However, churches should not organise volunteer groups as this makes the process more complex in terms of liability for Disclosure and Barring Service checks, safeguarding training and social distancing rules.”
Needless to say, we have continued with our local Covid care group, supporting many with shopping, collecting prescriptions or regular contacts, but not as the Church in action.
We addressed safeguarding issues with the help of our local authority, registered ourselves with the county council, and used local common sense.
一本道理不卡一二三区 Taddington, Derbyshire
SIR – Has anyone else found that queries by telephone to suppliers of gas, electricity or telephone services are met by the same recorded message – “Go online”?
Obediently, one does so, only to find that the actual query you have is not covered in their set answers.
Has everyone in these services gone home to enjoy the sunshine and 80 per cent pay, leaving the rest of us to cope?
一本道理不卡一二三区 Diss, Norfolk
SIR – My limited vocabulary has been greatly extended by years of reading the Telegraph Letters to the Editor. Words such as Panglossian and Manichaean are now dropped into conversations at every opportunity.
However, after reading Jim Dawes’s letter (May 15) it may prove a little more difficult impressing my friends with: “Did you know that the opening line of Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti wasn’t ‘Awop-bopa-loobob-alop-bamboom’ but was actually ‘Awop-bopa-loobob-alop-bopbop’?”
一本道理不卡一二三区SIR – On handing over my shopping list on Saturday, I caught a brief look of dismay on the face of my patient and kind friend.
一本道理不卡一二三区With horror, I realised that the list was both lengthy and detailed – even down to the precise number, make and type of yogurt to be purchased. What happened to my gratitude for the delivery of a few basic essentials? Why suddenly have I developed a sense of entitlement to a tailored shopping delivery?
一本道理不卡一二三区Are some of us getting just a little too comfortable in lockdown?
There’s little to fear from Covid-19 for younger, healthy people, so perhaps we could have a little more emphasis on getting on with life and ensuring the younger generation can look forward to one as comfortable as mine is currently.
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
SIR – Throughout the Second World War, Churchill considered morale of paramount importance and he was constantly seeking to rally spirits.
In September 1939, shortly after he became First Lord of the Admiralty, he wrote: “While enforcing the blackouts, why not let the controllable lighting burn until an air-raid warning is received?... Immense inconvenience and the depressing effect of needless darkness would be removed.”
I suggest that we adopt a similar discriminating approach to lockdown, confining it to those areas where the infection rate is high or rising. Then people would have greater confidence to return to work in areas that have been deemed safe and they would be given a morale-lifting glimpse of light at the end of the dark tunnel.
一本道理不卡一二三区 London SE16
SIR – Government advice is to avoid public transport wherever possible. The Mayor of London not only reintroduces congestion charges for cars but increases them by 30 per cent to £15 a day.
Newcastle upon Tyne
Giving with one hand and ...
SIR – Like many small businesses now struggling to survive, we asked HM Revenue and Customs if we could defer our PAYE and National Insurance Contribution payments. We were told that as we had received furlough payments for some of our staff we had the money and have to pay up or face fines and penalties.
一本道理不卡一二三区So one department of government gives out furlough payments to employers while another department takes the money back.
Absence of dentists
SIR – The British Dental Association is not responsible for issuing guidance to restrict high street dentistry (Letters, May 16一本道理不卡一二三区). Dentists need to comply with advice and instructions from the Chief Dental Officer, Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission.
As a dentist I want to get back to looking after my patients as soon as possible.
Dr Eddie Crouch
Vice Chair, British Dental Association
Nice not to be asked
SIR – For two months it has been a pleasure not to receive a weekly letter inviting me to have a smart meter fitted.
一本道理不卡一二三区 Helston, Cornwall
Road improvements pointlessly cancelled
SIR – The A9, Scotland’s longest road, was being incrementally upgraded to dual carriageway – until lockdown.
At huge cost to our economy, and unlike things in the rest of the UK, the minority SNP government decided that construction wasn’t safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since lockdown started we have enjoyed the most benign period of weather. Millions of pounds’ worth of heavy equipment lies unused. Workers are furloughed at taxpayers’ expense.
一本道理不卡一二三区The work is outdoors, where virus transfer is negligible. Most workers would sit alone in their cabs. Social distancing outside is not problematic. Accommodation could have been augmented if necessary.
一本道理不卡一二三区Where was the risk perceived to be? The reasons must be political, to be seen to be more “caring”.
一本道理不卡一二三区This control is exercised by a minority authoritarian government, safe in the knowledge that the UK taxpayer will bail them out, allowing them to duck responsibility.
If no cow is available, unscrew a door
SIR – When it comes to picturing two metres, few of us have access to a cow, standard or otherwise (Letters, May 16). An alternative is all around us. A standard modern door is a whisker short of two metres high.
When all else fails, simply remove one and lay it down. Of course, in this PC world, we must add: after first obtaining the owner’s permission.
一本道理不卡一二三区 Duston, Northamptonshire
SIR – Tyson Fury, Peter Crouch and Richard Osman are all at least two metres tall.
Ilkley, West Yorkshire
一本道理不卡一二三区SIR – As any golfer knows, the appropriate social distance is two club lengths.
一本道理不卡一二三区SIR – Having been a fencer at school and college, on my rare encounters with people on my daily walk, I always imagine them with an épée in their hands and space myself accordingly.
SIR – For me, as a six-foot male, two metres is envisaged as a man-sized coffin.
I have yet to have recourse to: “Please step back, your foot’s in my coffin!”
一本道理不卡一二三区 Milborne Port, Somerset
SIR – A very good approximation is Brunel’s broad railway gauge of 7ft ¼in. That will give a good six inches leeway in achieving the recommended distance.
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