Ban Ofsted to lure staff

12th March 2004 at 00:00
As a secondary head of mathematics who has advertised on several occasions for teachers without a reply worthy of consideration over the past few years, I welcome the long overdue report by Professor Adrian Smith.

However, I do not agree with any of his suggestions for improving recruitment into the subject.

You will not attract mathematics graduates into teaching by paying an extra pound;5,000 as private industry can beat that without blinking, and neither will more ill-conceived reforms to the curriculum help.

I believe that the only way to improve recruitment is to make teaching per se more attractive. Here are a few suggestions:

* abolish appeals panels and limits to temporary and permanent exclusions allowing schools to take charge of their own discipline once again;

* abolish the Office for Standards in Education as it serves only to tell nice schools that they are good and rough ones that they are not, which is a waste of time, money and teacher morale;

* abolish government targets as no one in government over the past 30 years has managed to grasp the proper meaning of the word "average". Allowing such people to set targets is positively dangerous!

In short, let teachers teach without let or hindrance by a bunch of politicians more interested in short-term fixes that seek only to hide long-term problems.

David Sherwood 34 Muirfield Way Mansfield Woodhouse Nottinghamshire

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