IN a time when our young folk are so often criticised for their behaviour, it was refreshing to read about the success Wester Hailes Education Centre has had with a record total of Standard Grade results (News, August 27).
Cynics could say the only way was up for a school with a poor academic reputation, but head teacher Sheila Paton deverves great credit for helping to change the ethos there.
Her work shows that by giving students a reason to go to school, motivation to work hard to do well and a greater pride in themselves and what they do, the pupils and the school can succeed like never before, in a way people probably thought was impossible in an area with an unwanted reputation.
It shows that we should never write children off because of where they come from, because with the right stimulus and guidance they can go in the right direction.
So much credit is due to Ms Paton and her staff. My only worry is that outstanding teachers could be poached by the big private schools, where the need for such pioneering staff is probably not so great, and yet these schools do not have to stick to council wage structures and could lure the most gifted staff.
Let’s hope they stay put and, together with the pupils, keep the success story going.
Ken Welsh, Easter Road, Edinburgh
Give the young some support
There appears to be great emphasis nowadays on university education and that young people will not be accepted unless they have a degree.
There are numerous jobs which do not reguire such qualifications, but a willingness to start at the bottom and, if necessary, get one’s hands dirty.
Trades and professions, whether wholesale or retail, and service industries, are looking for young people, so why aren’t the political parties backing them?
CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh
Rugby club only tackling its future
I HAVE to take Alan Murphy to task about his comments about Edinburgh Accies’ proposals for investment in Stockbridge (Letters, August 28).
It is simply not true that any of our proposals will interrupt any views from Inverleith Park to the “spire-gloried, Castle-rocked skyline”.
It is perfectly easy to demonstrate this, because our proposals are demonstrably lower than the flats on Raeburn Place. Nor is it true that the new shops being proposed are “supermarket scale”, they are not. Adding all of the shops together does not reach the level that is judged under planning guidelines as “significant”.
What Edinburgh Accies is doing is seeking to create a community facility that will enable us to stop paying £100,000 each year for temporary changing facilities and accommodation, and provide a future for the Accies in Stockbridge.
The announcement by Scottish Cricket that it is to move international games to Cramond is perfectly understandable, but it is also a salutary lesson in the fact that modern sport needs modern facilities.
Without the investment our proposals will provide, the future for Edinburgh Accies in Stockbridge would be bleak.
Frank Spratt, representing Edinburgh Accies
Tale of setts and the city council
I SUPPORT John Tulloch’s comments regarding the state of Brighton Place (Letters, August 16). Though I am no longer a resident, I visit my home town as often as I can, and the state of this street is absolutely deplorable.
I raised this matter with the relevant council department as long ago as July 2008 and was told that as the street was in a conservation area it would not be restored to Tarmac. However, it was admitted that certain sections were defective and that remedial work would be started within a few months.
Nothing has been done in the last four years, and the street is now in a state which is poitively dangerous to vehicles. I now avoid using it for that very reason.
It would appear perverse reasoning to place setts in a road which is a main route to Portobello and also a bus route and yet leave the surrounding residential streets with their Tarmac. I have no doubt that the council officials probably wished to avoid the wrath which would have fallen on their heads had setts been proposed there too.
Norman Williams, Balmoral Road, Widnes, Cheshire