Education in Welwyn Hatfield: Our question remains unanswered

Sir – The letter in the WHT on education in Welwyn Hatfield (April 8) has entirely misunderstood the issues raised in respect of our schools. Any open-minded look at the published results for Hertfordshire shows Welwyn Hatfield as consistently below

Sir - The letter in the WHT on education in Welwyn Hatfield (April 8) has entirely misunderstood the issues raised in respect of our schools.

Any open-minded look at the published results for Hertfordshire shows Welwyn Hatfield as consistently below average in terms of GCSE results. This was acknowledged by a senior education official at the recent meeting of the council's Social Overview Committee. The question that was raised simply asked WHY? So far no answer has been given apart from "Someone has to be below average".

For a senior Conservative politician to turn this question into a claim

of political scaremongering is disgraceful. The key reason for asking the question was that I believe our children, teachers and schools are being let down by the county council.


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There must be good reasons why the results for our borough are below the county average. Could one be that around 800 children have to travel out of the area to attend a school of their choice? It cannot be good for any child, let alone the very young to have to travel for up to an hour before and after school. With that shortage of school places in Welwyn Hatfield you would expect there to be plans to build a new secondary school. As far as I can gather there are none in the near future.

The observation that there are no selective or grammar schools in this area explaining the lower percentages is simply ridiculous. There have not been any for years and the performance back then was far better.

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I find the implications in the letter offensive and showing little or no concern for the education of our children. It may be difficult to accept that some of us 'political figures' actually care about things like the quality of education, but we do. I see little sign that those politicians in charge of the county for so long share my concerns.

The facts are clear. Our results are below average. In that situation it would be better to demand better from the county council. Instead we have a senior Conservative politician trying to defend the indefensible. Our children, parents and staff who have worked their socks off deserve better then this.

Tony Skottowe

Liberal Democrat Leader

Welwyn Hatfield

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