A new tsar writes...

7th October 2005 at 01:00
Having been described in July by The TES as eminently sensible I was disappointed to read the headline relating to my work in chairing the practitioners group on behaviour and discipline ("Do better says behaviour tsar," TES, September 23).

As all teachers will know, it is not eminently sensible to attempt to improve a situation by barking imperatives at random. On no occasion have I suggested that the complex issue of pupil behaviour can be addressed under the crude slogan "Do better!"

All good teachers and good schools constantly seek to learn from each other. That is one of the many reasons why working in education is a joy. I hope that our group can produce a report that provides advice to government and is of practical help to all teachers by highlighting some of the excellent ideas that have been submitted to us. None of us is incapable of improving our performance, but this is best achieved as a result of considered thought rather than the use of unthinking headlines.

As a history teacher I am fully aware of the fate that can await tsars. I trust that the profession and The TES will be more kind when our report is published next month.

Sir Alan Steer

Seven Kings high school

Redbridge, Essex

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