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Pupils' right to qualified staff

Elaine Barron (Letters, TES, February 18) raises a vital issue when she mentions heroic caretakers taking football.

The General Teaching Council for England knows many schools are struggling with remodelling. In advice to the Education Secretary in July 2002, we stressed the central importance of the qualified teacher, who is best placed to judge how other staff can be brought into play to support learning. Where there is evidence of added value, greater use of other adults alongside teachers is welcome.

But all pupils must have access to the expertise they deserve, including qualified teachers. However heroic the caretaker, anything less is unacceptable.

Judy Moorhouse Chair

Fiona Simpson Director of Communications General Teaching Council 19-30 Alfred Place, London WC1

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