AN article (Echo, June 7) reported

the major changes that are to take place in teaching children at two Yorkshire Dales schools

instead of one.

I believe that these changes will be seriously detrimental to children and the community as a whole. That is quite apart from the disruption to parents resulting from siblings being taught at sites a long distance apart.

Spennithorne school has provided a first class education over many generations. Our sons attended 30 years ago.

We now have a grand daughter there, with a grandson due to start at the school before long. Sadly, they will not be able to enjoy benefits which were available to their parents.

Under the new scheme, the school will disintegrate with some years being taught at Middleham. In short, the long-term crucial relationships between pupils of different ages will be largely destroyed. There is an ethos, very much promoted by the headteacher and staff, that all pupils should care for and look after each other, but especially that the older ones take the younger ones under their wing.

For anyone who visits the school, the success of this approach is plain to see. This in a priceless benefit at any school and there a real cost in losing it: has anyone thought about that?

It relies on the continuing and firm relationship between pupils year after year. A regime of here one year and gone the next, and the absence of some years altogether, will destroy the very heart of that.

Perhaps more than ever before, we can see what is happening to many people and communities because relationships and contacts fail. At least, in the past, the ethos at Spennithorne has started children off on the right foot.

It is said that this change has been driven by “extreme financial pressures”. That seems curious to me. The Government keeps telling us that it is providing more money to schools than ever before. Where is that money?

Perhaps it is just an illusion, tricks with smoke and mirrors? Would the county council kindly help us to understand – just how much extra money for schools has it received from the Government, and how much of that was allocated to Spennithorne school? It seems a straight forward accounting exercise. I hope we can get the answers very quickly.

Mervyn Wilmington, Harmby.