I see the front-page headline (Gazette, July 10) suggests they are improving the education of the county though I can not see why charging will do that.
There are a number of points to make.
1 All pupils’ fees are paid by DfE and money made over to the county for that purpose. So it makes no difference whether the student is in school or college.
If they are improving the education, this ignores the fact that our high schools are regarded as some of the best in Britain and people try to come to live in Northumberland for them. Also up to now we have been gaining heads from out-of-county because teachers wanted to come here.
2 Why are schools now looking at becoming academies?
3 The county claims that there is leakage from pupils going out of county. I calculate due to sixth-form numbers in our eight high schools that 16,000 of these pupils are in their local high school so that leaves only 1,500 out of county. Of those a great number will be going to Northumberland College or Kirkley Hall for agriculture and both those places are in the county so where is this leakage?
4 Urban verses rural costs of travel are peculiar as most urban children are within walking distance of their school so do not need transport.
Are the county counting places like Rothbury as towns to get this sort of costing?
I have had complaints of immigrant Poles being able to get council housing in the towns while single-parent families are denied that, yet they will be charged for transport if they have to live in the villages.
These statements given are inaccurate; are they like so many lies we are being told by our elected representatives such as the full repair of the potholes of the last two years which we all can see have not been done.
There is an election in Longhoughton so I hope voters will take the candidates to task. I feel they have a huge act to follow and this charge would have been stopped by John Taylor. He never missed a meeting which made decisions on schools against the interests of the rural areas.