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Look elsewhere for enlightenment

Ed Dorrell's editorial provides an interesting application of 18th-century political thinking to the present ("Did the Enlightenment pass Wilshaw by?", 1 March). I can remember a time when HMIs acted as inspectors and advisers. Organising courses for teachers and developing positive relationships with schools was important, but sadly this was lost as politicians demanded more draconian inspection.

I suggest that the New Zealand system be considered, where all boards of trustees are required by law to be "good employers". This helps to ensure that teachers are well looked after and respected. Three- to five-year reviews are undertaken in all schools by the Education Review Office, which seeks to work with teachers and schools to bring about improvements.

My experiences showed that teachers and principals were generally highly motivated, appreciated and happy working with the body. Such possible enlightenment might just appeal to Montesquieu and our education service.

Kenrick C. Barter, Retired headteacher, Plymouth.

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