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Teachers should work hand-in-hand with academics

It was very refreshing to read Val Poultney's contribution to the debate about professionalism (Friday, April 27). Doctors, lawyers, dentists, pharmacists and scientists all work alongside academics to develop their profession - to make their jobs easier and to do better for their clients.

There is no culture of this in teaching; it is fair to say that very few teachers are influenced by the work of their local university education department. It is also fair to say that when teachers and academics do work together, the results are powerful.

As a head of science wth 15 years' experience, I feel I have something to offer to the profession as a whole, but like many people in my position, I am not able to add this work on to what I already do. Last week was typical. I did 57 hours (less than many of my colleagues) simply surviving.

I greatly admire people such as Val who are able to combine academic study with a full-time job, but surely the opportunities she describes should be available to all of us? This is what I would like to see a combined teaching union fighting for.

Kris Stutchbury,Bollington, Macclesfield

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