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The joy ofshaping lives

Your headline "Teachers are more important than head" (TES, June 26) made me seize and read my copy of the paper before handing over Pounds 1. Hallelujah! I am no longer feeling like the "voice of one crying in the wilderness".

I have been teaching primary pupils for more than 20 years and fondly remember the pre-national curriculum days when I too felt "like a small king in my classroom" and experienced joy in knowing I was shaping lives.

I had classes of 39 and no free time. However, I was able to concentrate almost all of my time on planning, teaching and caring for my pupils. I know that my pupils were receiving a better education then than now.

I was well trained and was allowed to use my professional skill and judgment in the situation which only I knew and could assess. I have recently been forced to resign my post for being "over-conscientious, too hard working and a perfectionist".

I was told this by a non-teaching head and deputy (who have not taught for more than 10 years and to whom the national curriculum is largely a mystery). They were backed by a board of governors I had not met and were guided solely by the head's report.

Moreover, to run this small school of 90 pupils this non-teaching pair need a "finance manager", one full-time and two part-time secretaries and board of governors, and a paid clerk to the governors. Too many chiefs and not enough indians?

Name and address supplied

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