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Don't accuse state school teachers of slacking

I had to laugh when I read the letters about the long days suffered by private school staff. I am a retired secondary teacher and volunteer at my local primary. I arrive at 8am to find the majority of staff already preparing schoolwork - and, of course, paperwork.

However, that is not my key point. I often wonder what would happen if you surveyed staff about their reasons for working in the private sector. The simple fact is that it is much easier to work in a private school, where all you have to do is worry about subject matter rather than issues of control.

Private schools always claim to have "better qualified" staff, but that simply means higher degree levels not better teacher training. The only reason the private sector gets involved with the state sector is to support its charitable status - and, of course, they will choose the "easiest" state schools to cooperate with.

For their hard work, state school teachers get criticism usually based on the intake they are teaching rather than their professional ability, while private school teachers get praised for the financially supported pupils they ease towards a better future.

Mike Rath, Barnstaple.

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