COMMENT: A sobering lesson to us all

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OUR splash story on today’s front page ought to resonate with every parent of a child in education.

We entrust our young ones’ academic learning to teachers, assuming that the (hopefully) good progress report we hear at parents’ evening is reliable.

We want to hear that our children are on course for good exam results to set them up for whatever their next step might be.

My daughter is still a couple of years away from sitting her GCSE exams. I’m very proud to say that she only narrowly failed a mock maths paper recently.

But it would really undermine my confidence if I were to hear that her progress had been fudged in some way.

Parents of those 32 children at Peele Community College will doubtless be worried sick about the effect on exam results of the actions by a now-departed teacher – the head of English, no less.

Whether or not it is subsequently proven that she made up marks for coursework, the fact is that pupils’ work is, at best, missing and, at worst, was never done.

Of course, as her boss, headteacher Ian Charles must accept some of the responsibility for what has gone wrong.

And he has to also accept some of the responsibility for the latest Ofsted report, which says his school has improved steadily for the past three years.

Good luck to those 32 pupils. Hopefully they can rightly be even more proud when they hear their results in August.

• Another contender for our front-page lead this week was the latest court appearance for Carl Steele, the former businessman jailed for the dubious title of being Britain’s record illegal tyre dumper.

He made more than £2.5million from the venture. This week a judge ruled he should repay £122 (yes, at least £2.5million less).

Which leaves at least two questions: What has happened to the millions and what was the judge’s name?

I can only hazard a guess at the first answer. The second is Sean Morris.

• And to finish on a positive, let’s give a big hand (and a few quid?) to inspirational stroke victim Jennie Charleston-Stokes who’s doing a mile-long charity walk with her zimmer frame on her 70th birthday.