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Letters extra : Your chosen specialist subject is.

Your series of articles providing guidance for new teachers starting jobs in September looks to be up to your usual standard. I hope NQTs will be encouraged to become regular Friday readers - by far the most convenient way to keep up with the complicated and ever changing world of education.

What your pages cannot accomplish so successfully is to support subject specialism. What you do, through special pages, reviews and such like, is useful and welcome, but this is not quite the same as joining a subject association. For a price not dissimilar to reading the TES every week teachers can join a specialist subject community. Typically, these produce professional journals devoted to supporting the development of specialist teaching, conferences which provide the opportunity to keep in touch (not least with the wealth of new material for pupils and teachers) and informative websites. They help reduce the sense of isolation that teachers sometimes feel. They are increasingly, through funded projects, the source of independent and authoritative innovation and CPD.

Many subject associations, including my own, have special deals for PGCEs and NQTs. Thank you for the chance to encourage new teachers, both primary and secondary, who may not yet have found their subject association, and that special deal, to start looking!

Dr David Lambert
Chief Executive
Geographical Association

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