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No time for chickens in the great escape

At last! Headteacher Bernard Trafford sounds a much needed clarion call ("Battery-hen teachers must overcome fears of Coalition's free-range farmyards", October 29). I had previously been appalled to read Roger Pope implying that essential self-evaluation is at risk simply because the Coalition will no longer supply a form for it ("Only time will tell if we've been saved or goved", October 22).

Prescription is being removed from schools and we must face up to the implications and grasp the opportunities for our profession.

It is time the unions got together and set up a schools council independent of government. Locally we must initiate the re-creation of teachers' centres, which are essential to teacher-led curriculum development. The vacuum is there now and we must move to fill it.

John Coe, General secretary, National Association for Primary Education.

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