MR VENOUR is mistaken if he thinks the study of the Jack the Ripper murders is pointless and gruesome.

Through studying the murders, children learn all about a particular era, far more than they can learn from a historybook.

They actually learn something about what life was really like for people then, using the actual sources, such as newspapers and diaries. It is a very clever way of teaching history.

Instead of reciting a long, dull litany of dates and facts, one event is chosen and explored to reveal all the different aspects of a particular time and place.

It is a wonderful way of bringing an era vividly to life, and ensures that the pupils have a real interest in history, and actually learn something.

One important fact taught to those studying history is never to leap to a conclusion until all the facts of a case have been carefully studied, and all the sources researched.

I suggest Mr Venour learns this particular lesson. He admits himself he onlykeeps a 'loose eye' on his son's education, and knows only one fact about the lad's history lessons - they are learning about Jack the Ripper.

He should have studied what it was his son was actually learning, instead of leaping to an ill-informed conclusion.

And no, I am not a history teacher. I am merely someone who has learnt to study the facts before expressing outrage at something I barely understand.