AS an FP of Hutchesons’ Grammar School I have been very concerned over the last few months to read of the financial issues there and how this might impact the rights of its teaching staff.

I read your report of the letter to FPs and friends from the Board of Governors ("Rector of Hutchesons’ Grammar steps down after ‘very challenging’ months", The Herald, July 8) and having received this email myself as an FP was somewhat dismayed that it had not been printed in full.

The missing part says: "Everyone who works at Hutchesons’ believes deeply in the ethos of our school and the importance of the educational opportunities that we offer our pupils. We must always put the needs of our school first, even if that requires personal sacrifice."

Of interest there is of course the phrase “personal sacrifice”. Given the situation regarding strike action by teaching staff I must assume that the Board of Governors means teachers must make a personal sacrifice with regard to having the terms and conditions of their future pensions downgraded.

Provision of a quality education for the pupils by a committed and dedicated staff is the greatest asset any school can aspire to. To ask teachers to accept a future drop in pension rights is ludicrous. To ask them to put the needs of the school first before the welfare of their own families is not acceptable.

Surely there must be more ways for the Board of Governors to make economies rather than affect the quality of future retirement provisions for the educators in Hutchesons’? If Hutchesons’ wishes to retain and also attract quality teaching staff, this is not the way to go about it.

I wish the teaching staff well in their fight for fairness and justice.

Jean Ramsay, Former pupil and retired depute head teacher, Paisley.

Ukraine star's empty gesture

UKRAINE’S Elina Svitolina’s refusal to shake hands with Russian-Belarusian players was and is an empty and ill-judged virtue-signalling gesture.

The ugly aftermath of her defeat of Victoria Azarenka on Sunday egregiously led to the veteran tennis champion being booed off court, leaving her stunned by the crowd unfairly turning on her ("Azarenka insists focus should not be on ‘drunk tennis fans’", Herald Sport, July 10). Yet it was she who showed true class by respecting Svitolina’s decision not to shake hands with those from the countries who have invaded her country.

Azarenka could have waited at the net in a pointed attempt to shake hands with her opponent but instead simply waved to Svitolina and moved off court-side to shake hands with the umpire.

Those in the crowd who joined in the booing should be ashamed. They demonstrated absolutely no knowledge or understanding of tennis.

The on-court interview then disgracefully failed to challenge Svitolina on her refusal to shake hands, or the fact that it led to her opponent being shamefully booed off court.

Neither did the jubilant Svitolina even acknowledge the part her experienced opponent played in what was a thrilling Sunday night match, which could have gone either way. But for a failed drop shop at match point, it could well have been Azarenka who emerged victorious.

It was a graceless display from a player wrapped up in her own moral crusade, willing to physically play in competition against Russian and Belarusian players but not to shake their hands.

Perhaps her empty gesture would have more meaning if she defaulted and refused to play against them and in so doing sacrificed the prize money and the tour points.

It is an unsportsmanlike way to treat fellow professionals who, as far as I am aware, are not responsible for, nor sanction the actions of Putin, neither will it hasten the end of the war in Ukraine, but will cause lasting damage to player relationships.

Eileen McAuley, Bothwell.

Read more: Hutchesons' Grammar Glasgow: rector steps down from role

Be proud of protestors

THE freedom to demonstrate and express free speech is not "a terrible picture of Scotland" (George Fraser, Letters, July 10) but something to be proud of. We do, or do not, need to agree with the sentiments of protestors, in this case anti-monarchists, to support their right to be heard. Long may Scotland treat our right to free speech in the way these protestors were allowed to be visible last Wednesday.

Lesley Kent, Larkhall.

• MARK Smith ("Republican protesters were far too close", The Herald, July 7) and your correspondent George Fraser say it all really.

In a display peppered with angry expletives, nobody was spared: parade members, young and old alike, and invited guests. It seemed aimed at anyone whom they saw as pro-Establishment.

I had the misfortune to be standing beside them. To echo George Fraser’s words, a terrible image to present to the world. Responsible protest? I don’t think so.

Brian D Henderson, Glasgow.

Seeing red over Green

HAD I been a freeman of the City of Glasgow, I might have wanted to graze my sheep on Glasgow Green at the weekend but I couldn’t, because the green, a community space, and many of the surrounding streets, were closed for a commercial event. Still, never mind, eh, because some of the rent received by Glasgow Life from TRNSMT will be applied to restoring the Winter Gardens. It will, won’t it?

Stuart Neville, Clydebank.

The trouble with speech training

SIR Keir Starmer has suggested that he will introduce speech lessons in schools, allegedly to prepare the weans for the world of social and business interaction. I can’t help feeling we’ve been here before.

Sixty years ago my class got one period a week of “Speech Training” where amongst other things we were required to recite the works of Robert Burns and the speeches of Winston Churchill. Whilst I greatly enjoyed these I was nevertheless unclear as to how this was preparing me for the real world. Indeed I quickly discovered that describing the deputy head as a "great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race" didn’t do me any favours whatsoever. It was a straight four of the belt for insolence.

The business world didn’t take too kindly to it either. Whilst being interviewed for a summer job I was asked how I would deal with particularly vexatious customers. I can still remember the look of horror on the owner’s face when I told him that I would fight them on the beaches and the landing grounds and that I would never give in.

Robert Menzies, Falkirk.