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An engaging debate

I must take issue with part of Michael Shaw's editorial on pupil engagementbehaviour ("Neither a performer nor a prison guard be", TESpro, 10 August). I think he is using the word "engagement" as synonymous with "enjoyment" but there is a key difference. To me, engaging pupils means giving them a stake in what they are learning so that they buy into the lesson - and, indeed, into education as a whole.

For children who do not find it easy to conform to expected school behaviour (listening and demonstrating compliance, whatever the quality of the lesson), effective engagement is vital and no less than all children deserve. Teachers prancing about doing "edutainment" is an entirely different matter - and may in fact be a way of covering up a lack of genuine engagement.

Stephanie Gibson, Headteacher, St Catherine's Primary School, Surrey.

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