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Grist to the mill

Faced with a recruitment crisis ministers and officials should learn from the 1940s, when there was a similar problem.

Take the issue of trainee skills tests. A 1945 Nuffield College report, The teaching profession today and tomorrow, wisely remarked: "Good craftsmen who can teach well may often be defeated by a written test. ... good teachers shold not be lost . . . by rigid insistence on tests suitable for some but not for others. What is important is that children should be well taught, not that teachers should go through the same mill." To quote from a 1960s song, "When will they ever learn?"

Professor Colin Richards

1 Bobbin Mill

Spark Bridge, Cumbria

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