As prescribed

From James Scott

Which was more predictable, the absence of hard figures for boosting teachers' salaries in Professor Michael Barber's article on educational priorities for a New Labour government or his continued failure to cite unions as valid interlocutors for the teaching profession?

Presumably, either his spell in Hamilton House has soured him to all unions or the "education to the power 3" priority of Tony Blair is yet another soundbite to mask a wilful delusion that Governor Reagan's high-quality public services without taxation can be delivered in 21st-century Britain. If the former, then the troubles of the National Union of Teachers have brought problems to the rest of the union movement through the hostile attitude of a one-time senior NUT official; if the latter, then the researchers who so often compare Britain's laggardly educational performance to that of The Netherlands, Germany and Malaysia had better get their visas for visiting Azerbaijan, Armenia and Andorra.

JAMES SCOTT 29 Lady Margaret Road, Crawley, Sussex.

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