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The damage is done

I was disappointed to read that I have caused "irreparable damage" to my students' education ("Lib Dems join fight against unqualified teachers", 1 March). So I would like to apologise.

In my 20 years of unqualified teaching I have worked with hundreds of pupils. How blind my department head must have been when he wrote in my evaluation: "Matthew's poise and enthusiasm for teaching are immediately evident. His students are getting a product of the highest quality." Now that I work as a private tutor, I must apologise to the parents of those students, also. To Harry's mother, for example. After four and a half terms being taught A-level maths by qualified teachers, he had managed to achieve only Es and Us in his modules. After three months working with me he was awarded an A*.

Education is not a homogeneous mass. There are many types of schools, students and teachers. In so far as I have been successful as a teacher it is because I have a passion for my subject and enjoy working with students. I'm saddened that teachers are increasingly selected not thanks to heads' judgements but from the analysis of human resources directors based on the right boxes having been ticked on an application form.

Matthew Handy, Tutor in mathematics, Dotmaths, Harrogate.

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