Content fails to live up to rhetoric;Letter

29th January 1999 at 00:00
ALLOW me to put Anthea Millett of the Teacher Training Agency (TES, January 15) right. The stated aim of the Green Paper to make "the teaching profession more attractive" is in conflict with its contents.

The procedures for assessing which teachers are qualified to pass the performance threshold promise nothing but a superfluous layer of bureaucracy for the hundreds of thousands, purely to identify the lucky tens of thousands who may pass into the promised land of a decent salary. There is no attraction in that, rather a huge disincentive.

There is a huge insult in the statement that "teachers who meet high national standards will receive recognition and reward". Rather a lot of us think we already do meet high national standards, and as evidence we would cite the steady rise in examination results.

One has to wonder how long it will take before those in charge realise that raising the standards of entry to the profession is totally pointless until there is a surplus of would-be teachers. And to attract such a surplus will require more than this shabby little con-trick of a Green Paper.

There is no need for any more bureaucracy. There is a need for a decent salary structure to reward the decent teacher. And if a greater reward is needed, then it should be a loyalty bonus: a tax-free lump sum paid on the completion of every five years' service. Simple. Effective. Fair.

Philip D Delnon

79 Broomfield Road

Swanscombe, Kent

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