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



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