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Thanks to the publicity given by the Harborough Mail, the recent accident on the A6 near the Coach and Horses inn, once again, focuses attention on the danger to property and life linked to the volume of traffic on the A6 through Kibworth. Sarah Miles - mother of two young children - whose stationary car on her driveway (fortunately unoccupied at the time and the adjoining pavement free of pedestrians) was mangled in the incident. She has set up a petition to Leicestershire CC. So far it has over 300 signatures. The incontrovertible dangers created by air pollution serves only to highlight the urgency of resolving the issue, or we will soon be walking the A6 with masks on and not only on 31 October.

 

Drivers in the lanes around Kibworth must have been aware (if not it is a cause for alarm) of people walking and or running for exercise. In the lanes there are no pavements for pedestrians. It is however their right, no less than motorists to use the public highway where there is no pavement. They are not invading space exclusive to motorists. It is equally their road to use.

 

I could not ignore the comment by the head teacher regarding the achievement of the students in her school which highlighted the levels achieved in English and Maths. There is, currently a benchmark of sorts, or secular mantra in secondary schools flagging these two subjects (but hopefully not at half mast)! English I can understand and endorse (though foreign languages in schools have a limited clientele as some students cannot recognise a preposition or adverb in their own language).

 

However, Maths as a compulsory subject to 16 is a mystery. By the age of 14 the vast majority of students will have sufficient mathematical knowledge to equip them for life. A student who wishes to pursue it further can opt to do so. Why force all teenagers to study a subject - monopolising their time compared to other subjects - when for the teachers it can be like flogging a dead horse and for many students a futile exercise compared to other subjects which touch more closely on their humanity.

 

An organisation recently completed a survey of the most visited place in England: it was St Paul's Cathedral in London. Sir Christopher Wren was a genius but what of those he employed - the carpenters, stonemasons, scaffolders, etc. to build this magnificent mathematically precise structure? Did they have a high grade in GCSE Maths? Yet there it stands today. Times and people have not changed that much.

 

On a lighter note, the education mandarins have, this summer,changed the grading for maths from A* to 9 and so on down. According to David Laws former education minister, Grade 5 is the acceptable level of achievement. One wag, in writing to a paper was delighted with this change, as in a previous numbered grading system he had Grade 9. In one fell swoop he has gone from bottom to top!

 

 

 

Issue 395
October
2017


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