SKILLS: Change whole approach

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When I meet people with difficulty in reading, writing or basic mathematics they have my sympathy.

Whether it is their own fault or the failure of their school in not giving them a basic grounding in the ‘three ‘Rs’, to the people with the problem it won’t matter. It is more about learning how to cope as it’s a big challenge to address such problems in adulthood.

But year by year a predictable percentage of people leave school with challenges in the basics.

Hopefully, the move to technical qualifications will be tied in to fully equipping people with the skills they need in the workplace.

It is not just about changing one set of qualifications for another, but changing an approach.

Seeing rings drawn around things on the ground in Morpeth isn’t unusual – consider potholes or preparatory work for roadworks.

My partner tells me that the blue rings were an aquamarine blue. Hopefully, a good weed-killer was selected. The importance of such was always emphasised by my father and fellow gardeners.

Still if the weed-killer is a success, there are a number of places in my part of Morpeth that could do with a visit.

The proposal for a Marks and Spencer’s in Alnwick was curiously timed, with talk of M&S closing a number of sites throughout the country.

But given the success of the Marks and Spencer store in Morpeth, which is a major draw for shoppers and an anchor business for a certain shopping centre, you could see the logic of a positive boost to retail in Alnwick being looked for.

Personally, I hope that the Morpeth Marks and Spencer continues to sell food and clothing.

Hopefully, as a brand it will find the answer to the question which most people have a view on: “Why is it easier for many to buy food, not clothing, in Marks and Spencer?”

I doubt if you sampled a selection of customers they would mention problems with internet sites.

Robert Pollard