i Editor's Letter: Why must we assume all our kids have to be astronauts?


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The Independent Online


I did warn you in my letter on Tuesday that I might say things that you wouldn’t necessarily agree with – and it appears that I have riled some of you already with my appreciation of Sir Alex Ferguson. I’m not going to go into the current rumours of Ed Miliband nominating him for the House of Lords, for fear of having a price put on my head, but wouldn’t life be boring if we all agreed?

One idea that, by its very nature, is bound to split opinion is the call from an influential think-tank which said that children born at the end of the academic year should be given extra marks, such is the difference in grades between them and those born in September.

As a parent with a daughter born in June, the idea should appeal to me. But the notion that half of pupils will be given a boost, purely because of their birth date, sits very uncomfortably. Yes, I want my daughter to do well at school, and achieve flying marks, but she should have to earn them.

Do final grades really matter? Surely we should be concentrating on teaching our youngsters the value of trying their best, no matter what the outcome, putting their full efforts into a project.

It would be no good if we all wanted to be brain surgeons or rocket scientists. Some of us even have to settle for print journalism, before escaping for the lofty heights of TV. (Before you all reach for a pen and paper, and log in to your email accounts to fire off an angry riposte, I can assure you the hours and workload far exceed your ideas of any perks.)

But if my daughter comes home with anything less than top marks, there’ll be hell to pay!

Twitter.com: @jonesrhodri