IN your discussion on classroom assistants (TES, May 9), you quote Ann Widdecombe as saying that she could teach only Latin and would therefore not be needed. The reverse is true.
As Bob Lister of Cambridge department of education, reports in the Joint Association of Classical Teachers' Bulletin, 142 jobs for classics teachers were advertised in 20012. But 46 classics teachers left the profession for good; 32 per cent of schools rated their applicants for these posts "weak or very weak"; and only 30 trainees completed the postgraduate certificate in education. If this trend continues, the long-term prospects do not look healthy. We need all the classics teachers we can get.
Dr Peter Jones
National co-ordinating committee for classics 28 Akenside Terrace Jesmond, Newcastle on Tyne