Letters to the Editor - 30/01 - School leavers, Facebook, Best of Twitter

School leavers

[Re: Better Schools, Friday]

This article rightly praises the overall improvement in exam results in England, and especially in London. However, education is not just about exam results but teaching all students, academically able or not, the communication skills and confidence to be useful to employers who take on those leaving school. As the Confederation of British Industry has bemoaned, the current crop of school leavers has been found lacking. It is therefore no surprise that we have 1m 16 to 25 year-olds who are not in education, employment or training. But real change will take many years.

Ken Hayes

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Facebook

[Re: Facebook’s imminent collapse is possible – but not because it’s a bad product, yesterday]

Paul Ormerod highlights one of the fundamental properties of sites like Facebook – the network effect. But he only talks about the negative side of this (the potential for shifts in taste to become self-fulfilling and snowball), without pointing out that the same effect actually makes Facebook extremely hard to budge from its top spot. It is huge, far more widely-used than MySpace was, meaning that new sites will find it difficult to pull away a sufficiently large audience to gain from the network effect themselves.

Name withheld

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BEST OF TWITTER

Alex Salmond’s pound claims have been quietly demolished by the Bank of England governor.
@TogetherDarling

Turkey trying to get ahead of markets. But there is no easy way out. Sharply higher rates will slow economy.
@DrGerardLyons

If Turkey is repeating UK economic history, there are echoes of the 1970s as well as 1992.
@mmlatest

After encouraging economic news, it’s clear the biggest risk to recovery is Labour.
@David_Cameron