Absolutely . . .;Letter

23rd May 1997 at 01:00
Last week's edition of The TES was, in my opinion, fabulous. It was full of new hope with section after section of positive suggestions and ideas to improve education in this country.

With the confident expectation that the new Government will work with all the partners, we have real hope for the future.

But there are nettles to be grasped which Peter Mortimore described in his letter of May 9. The "shame and blame" culture fostered by the last administration must be replaced with trust and celebration of success.

The injection of confidence is crucial to stem the exodus of teachers. The sledgehammer inspection system must be changed to aid improvement through advice as well as analysis and pure criticism.

League tables may be here to stay, as described by David Hargreaves, but let them be structured to compare like with like and enhanced by contextual and value-added factors.

Perhaps the Department for Education and Employment will delegate this role to the new general teaching council?

Encouraging schools to work together in increased harmony will be aided by two short-term measures: withdrawing immediately any admissions advantages from GM and selective schools and the immediate demise of the Funding Agency for Schools and any other mechanisms for the unfair distribution of resources.

K C BARTER Springfield House Holbeton Devon

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