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Eleven reasons to abandon Blair

TO ASSIST Tony Blair in his ponderings over his party's poor showing in recent local elections, here are a few reasons why a lifelong Labour supporter deserted him.

1. I object to the introduction of higher education tuition fees.

2. I think it is unfair that BEd students in their fourth year of training, will be sitting alongside post-graduate certificate in education students who have been attracted to teaching because of the new financial incentives.

3. I am frustrated by a Department for Education and Employment supposedly committed to cutting down on bureaucracy bombarding schools with document after glossy document.

4. I am angry that hard-pressed teachers preparing pupils for exams have to scurry around to meet the deadline for bidding to earn the pay rise they deserve.

5. I am saddened that a Labour government has perpetuated its predecessors' obsession with an education system based on what can be measured rather than on what can be learned.

6. I am annoyed wth myself for naively believing that Labour in government would not act like previous governments and blame teachers for all the ills of society while taking all the credit for any improvements in results.

7. I fear the implications for teachers and pupils of David Blunkett's ill-considered pursuit of his mantra of social inclusion.

8. I am suspicious of each initiative which requires a battalion of highly paid assessors, advisers or verifiers who bleed money from the budget.

9. I am disheartened by an Education Secretary who equivocates over ending selection.

10. I am concerned as my daughter enters the sixth form about the increased pressure that will be placed on students studying a greater number of subjects and being examined twice as often as previous sixth formers.

11. I am disappointed that grant maintained schools - the only valuable legacy of the previous government - have been abolished.

R C Curtis

26 Meerstone Way

Abbeydale, Gloucester

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