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A classics case of lack of cash

Dr Nicholas Tate of the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority issued an important warning to teachers in Cambridge last week. Britain is falling way behind the rest of Europe as regards the teaching of classics. In France and elsewhere they have much more sense. Unlike our educationists, they have not fallen for the nonsense that Latin and Greek are "irrelevant" "elitist" and "won't get you a job".

But those imaginative heads who have surmounted the not-inconsiderable obstacles of prejudice towards and ignorance of classics and what it has to offer, and have decided to maintain or introduce some classics teaching in their schools will face a much bigger, not to say insurmountable hurdle - they won't have any money to pay their classicists' salaries.

The resources required to support or maintain a classical presence are trivial. It is urgent that they are provided before even worse damage is done.

BARBARA BELL

Executive secretary

The Joint Association of Classical Teachers

31-34 Gordon Square

London WC1

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