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Language slur was unintended

I would like to thank The TES for such a positive article on the young teachers of Tower Hamlets (Friday, February 8).

I was, I believe, correctly quoted as saying: "The first generation of Bangladeshi teachers'I written and spoken English wasn't generally good." I realise that this comment can easily be read as a criticism of all teachers recruited from Bangladesh. This was not my intention and I apologise to all colleagues to whom this is offensive.

The point I should have developed is that circumstances pertaining 20 or so years ago created a climate that encouraged LEAs in sometimes making inappropriate appointments. A teacher shortage and a rapid rise in the number of children from Bangladesh with no spoken English resulted in a desperate need for bilingual staff. Often they were recruited but not inducted and developed.

Many teachers with poor English were recruited, most of whom, I believe, are no longer in teaching. However, many teachers with perfect spoken and written English also came into the system, and are still with us.

An example of this is a colleague who I did offend. She was a high school teacher in Bangladesh and has successfully transferred her skills to primary teaching in England. She has been a strong member of my staff for 17 years and is a role model and support to the young teachers featured in the article.

Frank Tarrant, headteacher, John Scurr school, London borough of Tower Hamlets

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