Schools shake-up

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I passed a cursory eye over the school league tables (19 December) and was about to turn the page when something caught my attention.

Time after time, in almost every case, the worst performing schools had the highest uptake of free school dinners, surely proving the saying that poverty breeds poverty. These attempts to properly educate all of our children must be recognised as at best abject failure and at worst as a national disgrace.

Surely the time has come for a complete review of our once much-vaunted educational system.

We need to ask why our 
children get so much time off school for holidays, why these holidays are governed by the old agricultural calendar and how attendances are monitored.

The time must come when we stop closing schools for more than 12 weeks a year, or 25 per cent of available time, and I would suggest no more than six weeks of holidays maximum each year would be more beneficial to both pupils and fraught parents.

We must also monitor and enforce any regulations and laws governing school attendances.

Finally, those schools that have the worst records surely need the most and best help, and should be the most stringently monitored. All our children deserve the best education available.

Ian Murray