Everyone can teach PE

In Mandy Studley's letter ("We primary staff have no idea about PE... or history," TES, December 2), she advocates more specialists in primary schools, and suggests that the little training that post-graduate students receive in some subjects is inadequate and cannot lead to high-quality provision.

As a head who employs newly qualified teachers, I understand her predicament, but would also like to point out that so much more is learned during a teacher's first few years in the job.

With relevant professional development and good support in school, a teacher's skills are quickly honed. A committed primary teacher, who knows the class and the needs of every individual pupil, and who understands how children learn, is going to have a far greater impact on the child.

Students with the daunting task of teaching a class next year will be anxious about teaching all the subjects, but should not put themselves down.

Obviously there is much to be said for using specialists, but all good teachers have to start somewhere!

Alex Clark

Headteacher Atwood primary school Limpsfield Road, Sanderstead, South Croydon

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