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On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: teacher typos

Anyone with a greasy keyboard can miss the letter "l" out of the word "blossom" and almost make a boob. And even a finely tuned English teacher with a first-class degree can, with a slight skid to the right, claim they were born in 1053 rather than 1953.

But Richard Cairns, the British private school headmaster who pointed out these - and other - errors in application forms from teachers, believes they are symptomatic of a wider malaise in the state school system. He claims that standards have slipped and argues that many teachers applying from state schools are "semi-literate".

We don't share this view: anyone can make a cock-up in a slapdash application form. Nevertheless, Mr Cairns' expose has highlighted an area that might need attention. Whatever their subject - from woodwork to literary appreciation - teachers would do well to uphold some orthographic and grammatical standards.

Try re-reading your CV before you press send. Give it to your kids to check through. Just don't feed the naysayers who pounce on every little bit of misplaced punctuation to do down a well-qualified profession. If only to prove the snobs and the "teachers are all rubbish" brigade wrong, teachers need to make an effort in everything they write.

To the naughty step with you, teacher typos.

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