Friday, March 16, 2007

Apalling decision by Hengrove Community Arts College to axe GCSE courses already started months ago!

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Hengrove Community Arts College has seriously let down its students. To axe GCSE courses started several months ago by students is totally unacceptable and I'd like to see it reversed.

The school is rushing, or is being rushed, to get a balanced budget so that it can become an academy later this year and needs to cut its losses by £150,000. Surely before they gave firm course places to their students they could and should have anticipated their situation? Offering a course and then beginning it with classes of students means they are obliged to continue it for my money!

What does this situation say about the education policy of creating academies? The drive to turn Hengrove Community Arts College into an academy is causing deliberate damage to the education of children now studying there. The just and fair course would in my view be to either abandon plans for an academy or at least delay it to give students time to finish their GCSE courses. Academies are not the solution to todays education issues, as is well illustrated by this situation, as schools should be set up and run in the interests of parents and pupils and not private individuals, religions, or businesses.

Labour and Conservative 'green' policies not to be trusted

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Let me get this straight...

In recent weeks both the Labour and Conservative parties have been at pains to stress their so-called 'green' policies. We had Gordon Brown and David Cameron stressing the need to tackle climate change as the biggest threat to a decent life for future generations.

Just after the spurt of pronouncements on climate change, the same two parties voted in favour of the UK retaining its nuclear weapons (Labour MP rebels excepted) by spending tens or even hundreds of billions of pounds on new nuclear submarines and weapons . Hang on though...

...aren't nuclear weapons a huge threat to a decent life for future generations too? Have I missed something here? Has a rational case for spending this huge sum really been made when the known threats to our future eg climate change, energy security...require large investment? Wont spending huge sums of money on nukes mean less is available for tackling real and known threats, thus making us less secure??

The 'green' policies of Labour and the Conservatives are not to be trusted. Where they are half decent they are inconsistent with or cancelled out by other policies. Political will for implementation of coherent policies is often lacking and in any case their political thnking and action has got us where we are (ie with huge environmental challenges!). How for instance are we going to build an environmentally sustainable world if accelerating globalisation of trade, with all its massive energy consumption and pollution, continues unchecked by environmental considerations ?