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Again staff work with the unworkable

The letter from A Toubkin (TES, October 13) highlights the lack of information about the short courses in both technology and modern languages. Brendan O'Malley and Martin Workman in the Modern Languages Extra highlight likely problems with the modern languages short courses which apply equally to those in technology. These are only two of the problems facing schools as they try to develop their key stage 4 curriculum for next September.

For our school in North Yorkshire, facing a possible budget cut of 7 per cent, it is very difficult to see how the expense and curriculum upheaval needed to re-introduce GCSE technology for all will be possible. Technology courses form an important part of our curriculum at both GCSE and A-level and we have invested heavily in staff and workshops over the past few years. Any budget cut next year would lead to larger class sizes and would almost certainly affect the range of options offered at GCSE and A-level. It is even more difficult to justify planning for the use of short courses when there is so little information available about their content and status. Many schools will conclude that their educational priority, as resources are further reduced, lies in maintaining the quality and breadth of their existing curriculum without adopting further compromises in order to deliver the full key stage 4 national curriculum from next September.

Once again, as so often in the past few years, teachers and schools find themselves in the position of having to implement change with inadequate resources and information. In many schools, once again teachers and governors will move heaven and earth to make the unworkable work.

We owe it to ourselves, our colleagues and, above all our pupils, to ensure that whatever curriculum is in place in September, it is one which the individual school believes is the best it is able to deliver for all its pupils.

PHIL BENNINGTON Deputy head Skipton Girls' High School Gargrave Road Skipton North Yorkshire.

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