MR PENDLE: No sympathy for those taken in by council tax scam

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what do readers think of the recent call by exam watchdog Ofqual for written exams to be replaced by computerised texts?

Mr Pendle thinks it is a ridiculous idea - for more reasons than one.

Firstly, if children do not learn to write by hand and are only used to typing text on to a screen, they will be only partially literate when the time comes for them to use pen and paper, as it inevitably will, and they will be then faced with a serious problem.

And, of course, there are more serious problems which this suggestion raises.

Firstly, having started off on this road, it will only be a matter of time before these so-called modern-day thinkers ask for children to be allowed to write in the abbreviated text so many mobile phone users use these days - and who will teach the examiners and teachers what all these strange abbreviations mean?

And more importantly, what steps will be taken to prevent those taking exams from using the computers they are using to use the internet to find the answers to the questioms in the exams?

Mr Pendle has no problem with children being “techno savvy” - indeed, some who have spent time in this office on work experience have shown they know more about the workings of the computers here than those who use them every day.

But they should also be able to write with a pen - and that means written examinations, which will also show how well pupils can spell without the need to use a spell checker, should be maintained.

A NEW scam is doing the rounds where people are being telephoned and told they are eligible for a council tax refund.

As usual, people are being asked for their bank details - and as usual, some are falling for it and then complaining when they suffer the consequences,

They will get little sympathy from Mr Pendle.

There have been more warnings given out by trading standards officers about giving bank details to unknown sources than Mr Pendle has had hot dinners.

Anyone who is daft enough to fall for that one deserves everything they get.

It is as plain as a pikestaff that if people really were eligible for council tax refunds, they would get a letter from the town hall, not a telephone call.

And if anyone who received such a call was prepared to stop and think for a moment and not look at the pound signs dancing in front of their eyes, they would remember the old maxim - if it sounds too good to be true, that is because it probably is.