Leters: Pupils are worth more than a second-class education

I REFER to the Portobello High School debacle, a long-running dispute regarding the building of the new school on common good land.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 27th November 2012, 12:00 pm

As a former pupil of the existing 1960s educational gulag of poor build quality and uninspiring design, I distinctly remember no mention of school ethos or pride instilled in pupils attending the institution.

Strange as it may seem, the polar opposite of the major selling points used by fee-paying schools. No acclaim or credit was given to the many former pupils achieving great deeds and high positions in their chosen careers.

This policy of poor construction and little ethos was universal in this period within the state system, perhaps explained by the likelihood that most of the key decision makers, education officials and I believe some teachers sent their own children to private schools. Could it be that they regarded it as acceptable that state schools were inferior in many aspects?

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All professionals employed by the council to commission the new high school should be compelled to declare a conflict of interest if they have personally chosen to opt out of the state education system by paying to send their own children to private schools.

If Portobello High School was a private school, it would have been rebuilt by now.

KM Baird, Brighouse Park Cross, Edinburgh

Lazy students will be no great catch

I THOUGHT your story about sex-starved students in Edinburgh flocking to a “no-strings sex website” (News, November 22) made depressing reading.

It is perfectly normal for students in their late teens and early 20s to have an active interest in pursuing pleasure with the opposite sex, or the same sex for that matter.

But have today’s students become so lazy or inept that they can’t even be bothered leaving their own accommodation for a bit of “cherchez la femme/homme”?

Or could it be that they are lacking the necessary charm and social skills to tempt a member of the opposite sex?

I think it is telling that despite the fact the service is free for females, they are outnumbered by something in the order of five to one.

Something tells me these guys won’t be much of a catch.

A Morris, St Leonard’s Lane, Edinburgh

What flag would the English fly?

IF Scotland chooses to regain her independence in the next two years, what flag will be left to England?

It could not be the Union Flag, which is an amalgamation of the nations which make up the UK, though where the Welsh are on the flag I do not know.

One thing that Scotland will not miss will be Trident WMD. Hopefully these will be promptly removed from Scotland and dismantled.

Roll on independence for fair play, fair pay and the final end to a divided and misruled nation.

Trevor Swistchew, Victor Park Terrace, Edinburgh

Another flood ready to happen

Dredging rivers to increase their water-carrying capacity is a way of preventing flooding, but this is now prevented by SEPA.

I remember how the Water of Leith badly flooded the Saughtonhall and Riversdale areas of Edinburgh in 1952. Almost immediately afterwards, the council spent weeks removing silt and gravel from the river bed, and this flooding was cured, until of course the river began to silt up again, when further floods were caused.

Recently, I looked at the Water of Leith to the rear of Riversdale Crescent, and found that it has been reduced to a narrow trickle by huge islands of deposited gravel.

Another flood just waiting to happen.

Malcolm Parkin, Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross

Charge these seat hogs double fare

ScotRail does sometimes come in for justifiable criticism when trains do not have sufficient seating, but why do many travellers sit on the aisle seat placing their shopping/briefcases on the window seat thus forcing many to stand.

This is a frequent occurrence at Haymarket.

Surely the ticket collector should charge two fares as two seats are occupied. Seems fair enough.

Colin C Maclean, Hillpark Avenue, Edinburgh