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One failed essay may cost career

As a concerned parent, I would like to take you to task over your headline of November 25, "Men don't want to teach".

My son gained entry to Edinburgh University to study for a BEd in physical education, after having spent three years at college achieving an HND in sports coaching and administration. This, along with school qualifications, gave him university entrance.

This year, his fourth at university, he has been denied the opportunity to complete his course because of failure in a research essay, despite good marks in his exams and glowing reports from his school placements.

What now are the criteria for being a teacher? Is it to be able to impart your knowledge to the pupils, which he obviously can do, or is it to be able to pass a research essay? As a member of the public, I know which would be more important to me.

As a cynic, I wonder whether the university establishment is intent on attracting potential teachers, or whether it is more interested in the funding that accompanies them.

My son has spent seven years of his life getting this far, which surely illustrates his dedication to pursuing a career in teaching. He is rapidly becoming disillusioned and may now be lost to the profession.

He has not yet given up, but the system would appear to have given him up.

Stewart M K Richardson

Havelock Park, Hairmyres

East Kilbride

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