How can we overcome these shortcomings?

PUBLISHED: 12:27 12 January 2007 | UPDATED: 19:54 01 June 2010

I WRITE in relation to last week s article concerning Malcolm Moss thoughts on the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery. As Mr Moss perceptively states, this is something that Fenland people should be proud of, having had a son who was so instrumental

I WRITE in relation to last week's article concerning Malcolm Moss' thoughts on the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery.

As Mr Moss perceptively states, this is something that Fenland people should be proud of, having had a son who was so instrumental in this historically important movement.

However, I do wish to take issue with certain remarks made by Mr Moss in particular a reference made directly to the recent poor performance of the Queen's School as a 'blip'.

First and foremost I would like to say to Mr Moss that this is not a recent blip but a long-standing entrenched problem that has gone on for too many years in his own constituency.

I find his particular remark quite disturbing, offensive and dismissive of a problem that has, in many parents eyes, been overlooked for far too long.

I am a parent of two children who have both attended the Queen's School. We live in an area of the town that is described as one of the most deprived areas of Cambridgeshire. I, like many other parents, did not have the resources to send my children to the local Grammar School where they would have received an education just like that of Thomas Clarkson. Moreover, because of our geographical proximity, we had no other choice other than to send our children to the Queens School.

Mr Moss stated that 'we ignore the power of education at our peril'. This is something as a parent that I subscribe to and therefore have worked closely with the Queen's School in the past.

I have always encouraged my children to make the best of their abilities and have offered all the advocacy I can. However, I recall teachers routinely commenting that my children were indeed being cheated of a good education. I have listened to such comments for the last 11 years.

This, in the main, they attributed to the time being spent on dealing with disruptive and unruly behaviour. This in turn, all too often directly led to staff sickness and what appeared to be a high attrition rate in staff. I can recall the regular use of supply teachers that disrupted the continuity and equilibrium that each child must surely require to thrive on.

This in my own children's admission was de-motivating, as they were unable to build rapport with so many changing faces. Unfortunately, both my children left school with average grades and were therefore never going to be likely candidates for a university education (like the vast majority of students who live in our area).

Again, I do apportion a heavy amount of blame on the Queen's School, as I believe it does set children up to fail. It also does not appear to endorse certain aspirations that children would receive at a different school, such as Wisbech Grammar School.

Children do become a product of their environment, and while this school continues to let down the majority of children who do want a good level of education, Wisbech itself will be a lesser place.

Until this problem is addressed then we will continue to produce a future yield of under-achievers who could otherwise accomplish and possibly make significant world changes, like Mr Clarkson himself.

It is hard to 'borrow from Thomas Clarkson's example' when there still continues to be so many obstacles and constraints for the local children to deal with.

I would like to conclude 'my moan' by asking Mr Moss where he sent his children to school? And why we have two secondary schools at different ends of the pendulum? Unfortunately, we have entered the 21st century with this pendulum still being swung by either social advantage or disadvantage.

SHARON EAGLE, Edinburgh Drive, Wisbech

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