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Outstanding but not good enough

I was born in Bootle, a deprived area near Liverpool, and failed my 11-plus. At 14 I decided I wanted to be a teacher and was told I was not good enough. I left with four O-levels and fought to be accepted into the sixth form. I gained an extra O-level and two A-levels and again had to fight to get into college. I studied the Cert.Ed for three years and was narrowly accepted onto the B.Ed course, gaining a 2.2. I have achieved a masters degree and hold the NPQH.

I am deputy headteacher at a special school where more than 80 per cent of my pupils achieve a GCSE pass in my subject. My teaching has been described as outstanding by Ofsted. My pupils achieve because I understand what it is to see learning as a constant battle against failure and, from my four years of training, learned many techniques to help pupils learn effectively.

According to (shadow schools minister) Michael Gove (Analysis, July 17), I am not good enough and should never have been allowed to become a teacher, thus I would never have had the chance to be "outstanding" and help so many pupils to achieve.

John Pearce, Deputy headteacher, Liverpool.

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