Shamed as we lose ground

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ONCE more Sheffield is shamed by the poor performance of our schools as we slip even further down the national league tables.

It is true that the city has actually improved standards of pupil attainment over the past 12 months.

But that is little comfort when you realise that this represents an improvement of just 0.2 per cent while the rest of the country managed to boost its performance by a creditable 3 per cent.

Sheffield’s record is simply not good enough.

We hear education chiefs at the town hall admit that they need a ‘systematic, intensive and detailed’ approach to help pupils to reach their full potential. And we know that it is the case, as officials stress, that a small number of low-achieving pupils can bring down a whole school’s progress.

But this all sounds like an excuse rather than an explanation.

What parents want to hear is how teachers are to stop this slide and get pupils working harder and more productively. That is how to get them to realise their full potential.

Important to rise to run challenge

GET your running shoes on and help a great cause. For athletics star Jessica Ennis is appealing to readers to take part in a sponsored run to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Charity.

This is a great fund which supports the world-famous hospital to continue its ground-breaking work.

And we are sure that readers will be eager to show that they have taken Jessica’s challenge to heart and are keen to both keep fit and raise money for a worthy purpose.

The great thing about this appeal is that it can be taken up by people of any athletic ability.

You don’t have to be a world-beater like Jessica to show that you care. Complete novices can seek out a sponsored event and raise money for the charity. The important thing is that you rise to the challenge.

Warming hearts

OUR readers are real heart-warmers. For they have chipped in a creditable £11,000 towards The Star’s Surviving Winter Appeal by giving up their winter fuel allowance. And we are delighted today to bring you news of the first South Yorkshire couple to receive an allowance to help them beat off the seasonal chills. This shows that your generosity really is making a difference and we look forward to hearing of more people whose lives are made more comfortable thanks to our readers.