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Meaningful change takes a lifetime

As Frank Furedi points out, the First World War brought a period of soul-searching ("When the battle began for education's soul", Comment, 7 February). One sensible voice belonged to former chief inspector of schools Edmond Holmes, whose reflections from 1922 should give current politicians pause.

"Reforming education is complex and difficult," he said. "I cannot promise a new world within the lifetime of the present generation. The mills of God move very slowly, and the transformation of the ideals of a whole profession is not to be accomplished in a generation or even a century. But that need not discourage us."

Colin Richards, Spark Bridge, Cumbria.

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