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Minorities need role models

At the recent Commission for Racial EqualityTeacher Training Agency conference I spoke on the importance of seeking to bring members of ethnic minorities into teaching. It is essential that we attract the brightest and the best from all backgrounds into teaching, for the benefit of all children. Currently we are not attracting the brightest and the best from ethnic minority backgrounds.

In your article, "Wanted: the best minority teachers" (TES, November 7), I am reported as having said at the conference that "...it was absolutely right that ethnic minority children should be taught by teachers from their own communities I" This is not the case.

At the conference I said that "I it is right that children from ethnic minority backgrounds should see people from their communities in teaching posts" and "It is important for children to have role models from their own communities". Teachers from ethnic minority backgrounds provide such role models, and may inspire pupils from similar backgrounds to seek a career in teaching.

ESTELLE MORRIS

Department for Education and Employment

Great Smith Street

London SW1

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