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Britain and Bahrain have similarities

The persecution of Bahraini union vice-president Jalila al-Salman makes distressing reading ("Arrested, tortured, but not silenced", 10 May). Referring to Bahrain, Patrick Roach, deputy general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, says: "We hear reports that new teachers are able to train in just one institution ... to indoctrinate them in what is deemed to be acceptable practice". Presumably, the Bahraini government has been learning some lessons from education policymakers in the UK. Here, too, we train teachers in what we call "best practice". As for dissenting voices, the profession was purged long ago by the educational "witch finders" overseeing the enforcement of this "best practice". Our well-meaning profession kept quiet about this, of course, and thereby illustrated a maxim often attributed to Edmund Burke that "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing".

Chris McGovern, Chairman of the Campaign for Real Education.

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