RAPID responses

Return to O-levels

[Re: Cameron must back Gove for the sake of Britain’s children, Friday]
Michael Gove’s proposal isn’t perfect, but it’s an improvement on the failing system we have today – a de facto two-tier system of double-digit top grades and a long list of failures. Let’s hope Gove can defeat his third-rate political colleagues.

James Dene

I left school with one O-level. But some thirty years on I now have two doctorates and five other degrees. Teachers consigned me to the scrapheap of CSEs and got it wrong. How many of my contemporaries ended up in dead-end jobs because of an incorrect judgement at 14?

Michael Hammond


Artful assets

[Re: As investors continue to struggle for returns, is purchasing fine art a sensible alternative?, Friday]
There are probably good reasons not to treat art as an investment like any other, but if your pension is fully funded and you’ve used your Isa allowance, there isn’t much harm in buying art. Just think of your children, though. What if, when you die, your sentimentally-purchased seascape turns out to be worth millions? Inheritance tax can be a killer.

James Hurlson

Fine art may be a risky investment, but then so are most asset classes. Is that really a reason to avoid the market entirely?

Ben Fisher


I disagree with Gove’s exam reforms. The old system was a block on social mobility. Make exams harder, but don’t condemn the poor.

Can anyone tell me why it’s massively right wing to believe in academically rigorous education for the poorest students?

The IMF’s genius plan to save the euro: Germany should pay everyone’s debts. Why has no one thought of this before?

Breivik’s trial must be a first: prosecution says he’s insane, the defence he’s a terrorist.