Behaviour is no simple matter

10th June 2005 at 01:00
Education Secretary Ruth Kelly's hope that a working group on behaviour ("Why the behaviour battle will never end", TES, May 27) will come up with simple solutions to complex problems may be understandable in political terms. But this is yet another example of a failure to face the fact that the present education system is no longer suited to the diverse needs of children, the aspirations of young people or society's and industry's ever-changing demands on education.

For example, the outmoded rigidities in pupil grouping, curriculum structure and its assessment, timetabling and the roles assigned to teachers, have been identified as fundamental obstacles in many current discussion forums, including those initiated by the Teacher Training Agency and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

Politicians may be wary of doing more than rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic of the present education system for fear of causing alarm. But surely it is crucial that the longer-term demands on education are openly acknowledged so that shorter-term steps can be planned in a relevant direction?

Simple solutions to complex problems miss the point.

Klaus Wedell

Crown Cottage



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,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today