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A 1960s education for the 21st century

Michael Gove, I know that whatever I say you will dismiss as the rantings of a loony Left teacher defending the status quo, but as a classroom practitioner I am well used to my voice not being heard. You must stop making up policy on the hoof. I am not sure my nerves can take it any more and, as most teachers' careers last longer than education secretaries', you should be more thoughtful about the mess you leave behind.

None of us would suggest that the current system is perfect but I think it is mischievous to throw the baby out with the bathwater for your own ideological ends. Your comments about the validity of GCSE pass rates is undermining the hard work of thousands of pupils and their teachers. It has taken us many years to build up the self-esteem that you have destroyed with what can be best described as "in my day-ism". It is right for you to engage in a conversation about curriculum reform but not at the cost of pupils' sense of pride in what they have achieved.

Strangely, your suggestion of one exam board will warm the hearts of many of us in the profession. I guess you think competition is not suited to certain parts of the education market.

Stephen Hickman, Secondary school teacher, London.

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