COUNCILLOR Patrick Mulligan says he is concerned about falling standards in North Yorkshire Schools (Help will be offered to drive up standards, Craven Herald September 2).

He says the council is sending a team of analysts into schools to find out what is going on. Rather than spending money on a team of analysts who will undoubtedly just increase the pressure on already hard pressed teaching and support staff, I suggest increasing the resources available to schools would have a more immediate impact. The catch-up plan announced by the Government in June amounted to a derisory £50 per pupil, far short of what was called for and a fraction of what most other developed countries are providing. Recently it was reported by the Institute of Fiscal Studies that the spending per pupil is now lower than it was 12 years ago.

Cllr Mulligan says ‘there could be all sorts of explanations’ as to why standards are falling. He is right there – as well as the erosion of school funding over the last 11 years, there have also been cuts to youth and family services, Surestart centres, and advice and guidance for young people.

Many schools face problems recruiting qualified staff because it is no longer such an attractive career. More families than ever are using food banks.

None of these problems will be helped by a team of analysts descending on schools and picking holes with the work that teaching staff are doing. My advice to Cllr Mulligan is to stand down your team of analysts and for the Conservative led North Yorkshire local authority to lobby the Conservative Government for more funds for schools and let teachers and other staff get on with their jobs.

Doug Clark