Letters Extra: Poor bloody infantry

Oh, David Bell.The headlines are so familiar, OfSTED blames teachers for...'year 67 transfer problems'. Following the 'year 34 teachers', 'teachers in deprived areas' and 'headteachers', it's now the turn of year 78 teachers to get it in the neck from an HMCI. ( Looking before you leap , 05.07.02) Poor bloody infantry. Or at least that's what the key message seems to be.

It is hardly surprising that inspections reveal that the intensive, OfSTED modelled, top-teacher-led year 6 teaching primary schools have to do in order to keep their heads above the KS2 SATs waterline, compares well against the teaching in the neglected Cinderella of KS3. Year 78 teachers have been having to cope with all those identified effects of transfer, in an unsupported keystage, drawing on a curriculum that was eviscerated when National Curriculum reforms clawed down KS3 content into KS2. It's no wonder it was difficult to demonstrate focused teaching and pupil progress.

If you read the report, however, there are sensible, if not exactly revelatory, conclusions which restate the Homerton Report's findings. It acknowledges that transfer is a complex situation requiring teachers, schools, LEAs, the DfES and OfSTED to address the real issues of curriculum continuity and the differences between primary and secondary teaching and learning cultures. To be successful we need to go forward in a spirit of confidence and optimism. Gratuitous teacher bashing won't help.

Geoff Elliott,nbsp;Nantwich, Cheshire.

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