Surely an error

PUBLISHED: 12:35 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:12 06 May 2010

SIR, — I believe there has been a reporting error in your story on Herts County Council chiefs pay deals (Herts Advertiser, April 3). You say John Harris, the county s director of Children, Schools and Families gets a 7.7 per cent pay rise — this is on t

SIR, - I believe there has been a reporting error in your story on Herts County Council chiefs' pay deals (Herts Advertiser, April 3). You say John Harris, the county's director of Children, Schools and Families gets a 7.7 per cent pay rise - this is on top of his 9.76 per cent rise the previous year. Surely your reporter meant to write that he has had a reduction in salary for failing the needs of the children of Herts - or even been sacked.

Your letters pages and news reports have been full of his department's failings over the last few months, so why do we give fat-cat salaries to failures? I felt compelled to write to you with our complaints when the issue was lead news but suspected your post box would be full.

My daughter has been denied a place at our village infant school. We are in the process of appealing against the allocation, as are many hundreds of parents across the county at all levels of schooling. In our case Herts education department failed to notice that the village school would be oversubscribed for this coming reception year. Instead it has farmed the children out to schools in a different council district.

It is now fighting every appeal that has been lodged across the county. Instead of wasting money on fighting appeals, why are they not spending it on employing more teachers and building a better future for all our children.

Redbourn only has one school, so as parents we all expected our children to attend it. The future social development of our children depends on attending the village school with their peers and friends.

Instead parents have been given schools in Hemel Hempstead and further, and the council tax payer will be footing the bill for free travel. Why not employ another teacher for this year at Redbourn Infants school? It would be cheaper all round. Another saving of more than £11,000 could have been made if Mr Harris did not take his unwarranted pay rise.

We are after all talking about the education of four-year-old children. They are being failed at the very first hurdle in their education by those who should be making sure they get the education they deserve.

Your article also reports that a spokesperson for the county council said that the salaries reflected the responsibilities within the posts and were in line with other organisations of a similar size. I challenge any of these public-sector fat cats to apply and get a job in the private sector commanding the same money. I would not want to have Herts County Council education department on my CV if I were them.

S. BARNES,

Hemel Hempstead Road, Redbourn.

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