A rocket for Sir Cyril

23rd November 2007 at 00:00
I love The TES and always read it, but this weekend it depressed me so much I considered resigning after 30 years' teaching. At first I laughed at Sir Cyril Taylor's comments ("I didn't call for sackings", TES, November 9). Then I became cross. What a wally. What knowledge does he have about teachers and teaching?

The implication is that "someone who has been manning a missile site" could be brought into teaching because they "will certainly know something about physics". Or that a former soldier who had "natural discipline skills" would be effective in the classroom. Where is he coming from? Does he not realise there is more to teaching than subject knowledge? Discipline and respect are earned by good teachers and not automatically conferred on someone because they have an upright gait, loud voice and short haircut. This is not meant to be disrespectful to soldiers. Their skills have to be applied to downtown Basra, not Year 11 on a wet, windy afternoon, completing a compulsory subject that they have no interest in and are struggling to understand.

Other articles also made me angry: teachers' pay rise at 2.1 per cent when inflation is above this; school budgets at a "standstill" with possible job cuts when exam boards have bumper profits and a director of Edexcel is earning pound;450,000. Where do these enormous profits go when schools are struggling to provide the best for their students?

Imelda Gilhooley, Thorns Community College, Dudley, West Midlands.

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