'At's the way to do it;Letter

29th January 1999 at 00:00
JUDITH Gillespie's splendid Opinion piece (TESS, January 15) marks yet another of her contributions to a positive approach to the true raising of standards. Yet a compilation of instances of good practice, as in the forthcoming Success Stories exhibition, amounts to the exhibiting of "object lessons", fragmentary by definition.

My mind runs back to something the UK, including a distinctive Scottish element, had not that long ago, valuable in promoting aspiration and valued when in most instances a school achieved fulfilment of its strivings. Something that was scuppered when the previous Government found itself unable to make available the modest few thousands a year required.

I refer to the National Curriculum Award Scheme. Such "staffing" as was needed was willingly or voluntarily given, with some local authority help and by a cadre of very recently retired headteachers and regional education officers. Submissions from schools were made and a day or a half-day visit made. The entire group of assessors met a for a day and a bit, keenly surveying reports.

For the successful schools the reward was a trip, with all others so recognised, from all over the UK to the Barbican in London - memorable for both teachers and pupils. Against the current assortment of ministerial and inspectorial menacings, I suggest, to echo Mr Punch's words, 'at's the way to do it.

John Taylor Woodlands Grove, Kilmarnock

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today