Change yes, forget compulsory development

3rd October 2003 at 01:00
Where are the wooden stakes and the garlic when you need them? Mr Douglas Osler has returned from beyond the professional grave to revive his programme of dirigiste dogma and thinly veiled contempt for teachers (TESS, last week).

The time he has had since his retiral has clearly not allowed him to come into contact with real teachers in the real world any more than when he was in office. How otherwise are we to understand references to "classroom devotion to the status quo" or "endemic complacency"?

Should Mr Osler in fact ever listen to teachers, he would find out that they have been crying out for change for years. He might hear, for instance, about the desire to get rid of mixed ability classes; or to sweep away comprehensive schools and their third-rate mediocrity; or to exclude (yes, exclude) from mainstream education those who persistently disrupt learning and teaching.

Teachers most certainly do want change but they do not want to be sent on compulsory CPD to comply with the current five-year fad dreamt up by a cabal of careerists sucking the creative life-blood out of committed professionals.

Let us hope that Mr Osler's ideas now remain well and truly buried.

Bill Cooper

Highfield Circle, Kinross

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