Letters: the playtime’s the component
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Letters: the playtime’s the component

Alex Clark concludes her paean to playtime by way of calling on “teacher” to “go away those youngsters by myself” (“I discovered in class, however playtime taught me plenty greater”, remark). She ascribes a ways an excessive amount of strength to the career.

Social change – girls going to paintings and less youngsters going home for lunch – have to have led to the discount of what were a 90-minute lunch break inside the 60s. But, yes, teachers have been oblique contributors to playtime’s protracted death. They “withdrew goodwill” in the Eighties at some stage in their dispute with the Thatcher authorities. Supervising at break or lunchtime changed into now not a contractual responsibility and sufficient instructors followed their unions’ advice to abstain from this greater paintings for it to end up vital to rent ancillary personnel as a substitute, an arrangement that have become everlasting once the dispute changed into over.

Supervision is low-popularity work – however essential – and its value is temptingly clean to reduce. One merely cuts “play” and lunchtime.

Government edicts, longstanding way of life wars and the salami-slicing of public services have prevented play. Play, its concomitant sociability and creativeness, in addition to its educational theorisation, become driven from the classroom. Lack of cash has been riding it from the playground.
Elspeth Knights
St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex

Thank you, Alex Clark, on your piece at the significance of play. As a former playworker and supervisor of play settings, I agree wholeheartedly. In loose and undirected play, youngsters take what they’ve been taught in classrooms and learn how to implement it inside the actual international. It’s in this way that information is absolutely assimilated.
Pete Stockwell
London W1

Sacked for ‘uncivil’ tweeting
I share Kenan Malik’s squeamishness over employers policing personnel’ speech as non-public citizens (“We thrive on provocation. However are we too brief to punish individuals who stray?”, comment). But, he misrepresents the case of Steven Salaita. The us educational changed into not accused of antisemitism – he became sacked after posting “uncivil” tweets approximately Israel’s 2014 Gaza blitz, wherein extra than 2,a hundred Palestinian civilians have been killed.

In reality, Salaita secured a agreement in opposition to the university of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, at the same time as the chancellor resigned over her shoddy handling of the affair. However, Salaita become hounded out of academia. He now drives a college bus, yet continues to jot down with acuity, perception and wit.
Juliana Farha
London N7

Golden oldies?
Cautious now earlier than dashing to document the memories of aged family (“households flip to oral historians to record a life-time of recollections”, information). Before she died aged 96, my mother frequently entertained us along with her reminiscences of events that she was convinced have been actual, and wouldn’t be gainsaid through anybody. Of our favourites had been that she had worked down the pit as a child working the ventilation “traps”; she additionally claimed to have taken the click image of her dad and mom on their golden wedding anniversary when in truth the circle of relatives images she took have been all of humans with their heads reduce off, a result, I think, of her being pretty small and a garbage photographer. But as they say, why damage a good story?
Margaret Eason
Darlington, County Durham

I reject this xenophobia
Your chief says that “the proportion of the general public whose hostility to immigration is driven via opposition to ethnicities and religions aside from their very own has fallen dramatically”.

Even if this is the case, it seems that the overall degree of outright xenophobia has risen sharply in recent months. On Saturday, I attended a nearby assembly of a uk professional body with a speaker of Spanish nationality, resident right here for about 10 years. She referred to that she had skilled for the first time colleagues thinking the validity of her expert judgment, even suggesting that her intellectual capacities have been limited, due to the truth she become not British. Polish and Russian colleagues around the table showed that this turned into additionally their revel in and had these days emerge as a ordinary part of life for a non-uk national.

As a British born-and-bred citizen of a few sixty seven years, I sense something unsightly is going on that I totally reject.
Dr John R Whittaker
Keyingham, Hull

Old and young are not at conflict
It got favoured the antique over the younger for too long”, Economics). He left out to say that 1/2 of all older human beings don’t have sufficient cash to pay income tax, that pensioner poverty is growing and that the United Kingdom state pension remains bottom of the OECD league table.

But possibly greater thrilling is that a growing frame of evidence indicates that inequality inside generations is wider than that among generations. Furthermore, in spite of the claims that we are at battle, households keep to assist every other out each financially and nearly, including while grandparents provide unpaid childcare.

What Inman shows is definitely a rolling lower back of the welfare country, supposedly to punish today’s “wealthy” pensioners, however in impact removing help for hundreds of thousands of both today’s and the following day’s negative pensioners in the technique.
Jan Shortt, trendy secretary
National Pensioners convention
London WC1

Phillip Inman castigates pensioners for taking pride in “Osborne’s pledge to raise the inheritance tax threshold for couples to £1m”. Does he believe that these obviously irredeemably egocentric people plan to leave their cash to themselves once they die?
Professor Trevor Curnow
Lancaster

Forever blowing bubbles
David Mitchell misses the joy he had with plastic straws now they’re taboo (“Am I clutching at straws for wanting to have amusing?” New evaluation). Fear no longer, David, a long way more a laugh changed into had with paper straws. We ought to blow bubbles in bottles of drink, use them as pea shooters (with bits of chewed-up straw), trim the ends to make duck whistles, fold them to make to make little springs and combine them into tremendous constructions, and of route use them to drink our free milk.
Martin Cooper (68½)
Bromley, Kent

High rate of football
Of route the all-English soccer finals have to be held in England (“As English fans get set to move Europe, anger rises at soccer’s carbon bootprint”, information). More usually, organisers want to consider the surroundings. Sports occasions which include marathons have to prioritise nearby candidates for places. The eu parliament should forestall shifting among Brussels and Strasbourg. And none folks need to drag our pals abroad for weddings and chook and stag nights.
Richard Mountford
Tonbridge, Kent

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