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Do academies raise standards?

Letters from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Letters from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter

I suppose it’s gratifying that leaders have said their goal is for the Burrowmoor Primary School at March to be a good school.

But then, they are hardly likely to say they want it to be a school requiring improvement, are they?

What concerns me, however, is the number of academies in Cambridgeshire (and nationally for that matter) that are being placed in special measures and yet are being left in the hands of the same academy trust.

Local authority schools in this position are forced to become academies.

Surely, if an academy trust has failed a school and its children, the school should either be returned to the local authority or at least to a different trust?

Your report refers to the school not receiving enough support from the academy trust, yet it is being entrusted with the education of children it has already failed.

I’m still at a loss as to how the Government can say that academies raise standards when so many are failing.

Since the Government is so pro academy, why doesn’t it simply identify what academies can do when out of local authority control and allow local authority schools to do the same thing?

I notice Mr Barclay is featured regularly in these pages, so perhaps he would like to respond to these questions?

Steve Newton,


chatteris praise

Volunteers thanked

I would like to express my grateful thanks to the Chatteris Christmas Lights volunteers who yet again this year have put up the Chatteris Midsummer Festival bunting and In Bloom baskets that hang on the lamposts through the centre of Chatteris.

The town looks lovely – good luck and well done to the In Bloom volunteers, I hope you receive a gold accreditation – you deserve it.

Also yet again this year thank you to the WI ladies who make the bunting, keep and clean the bunting year on year.

And a big thank you to all the volunteers, who without them, events in the town would not happen. Everything is looking good for the Mardi Gras Festival Celebrations on the weekend of June 27 and 28.

Sharon Selman,

Midsummer Festival Chairperson.

Hard work appreciated

On behalf of the people of Chatteris, I would like to express my sincere appreciation of the hard work carried out by volunteers in the town over the past few weeks.

A small but dedicated group of volunteers, including members of Chatteris in Bloom and the Christmas Lights Committee, put up the hanging baskets and planters around the town centre.

This was done despite the usual pressures of only a small number of people being available to carry out this work for the greater benefit of everyone.

This year once again Chatteris will be judged by Anglia in Bloom so, naturally, I’m sure we all hope CiB will be justly rewarded for their efforts.

As with so many community groups, there is always something that needs to be done and it usually falls on the shoulders of just a small number to carry out the work.

So, if you feel that you would like to help be a part of the team that helps make Chatteris look so much more attractive – give them a call! As the old saying goes: ‘many hands make light work’.

Coun James Carney,

Mayor of Chatteris.

reaction to letter

Many were dismayed

I refer to the rather unpleasant letter from Mr P. Davis, inferring that letters from John Smithee were because of “sour grapes”.

I would inform Mr Davis that there are many people who were dismayed and disappointed by the election result. In fact, 63% of the people who voted did not vote Tory and, if one factors in the numbers who did not vote at all, they can hardly be described as a popular government.

Five more years of a government now unfettered by any agreements with the moribund Lib Dems, and their policies of dismantling and privatising the NHS and giving tax breaks to their rich friends fill me with more dismay.

Mr Davis makes scathing remarks about the unions. He must know that without unions we would not have the weekend, paid holidays or sick pay as examples of things unions have won for workers.

As a Socialist, I had little faith that a Labour government would change things very much; especially having read their policy of “austerity-lite” and a policy on immigration which appeared to have been cribbed from UKIP.

Personally, I would like to see a British version of the Spanish party Podemos or the Greek Syreza.

Oh, and as an aside, the word you are using to accuse Mr Smithee of writing should be ‘drivel’, not “dribble” which is either something footballers do, or saliva.

Mitch Mitchell,


Do your research

If P Davis, Wisbech (Letters, June 10) wants to have a go at trade unions he should at least do some research on their achievements.

Generally the Trade Union movement has been a force for good over the years. Fighting for the minimum wage, equal pay for women, holiday pay, sick pay – the list goes on and on.

So may I suggest he does a little research on the Trade Union movement and its achievements and it may give him an insight into why Britain is a much better society today than it was 200 years ago.

John Cook,

PCS Union,

(retired member).

Stop rants

P Davis (Letters, June 10) is absolutely right re Mr Smithee and the dribble he regularly writes; too often for my liking!

I trust the silent majority will never again elect another Labour government and their Unite union cohorts.

Mr Smithee should stop his constant sour grapes rants and accept the will of the people.

David Cornwell,


n Editor’s note: Correspondence on this matter is now closed.

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