Cynical coverage of 'good news' story

31st October 1997 at 00:00
Having found myself caught up in that rare thing, a good-news story about teaching ("No one forgets a good teacher"), it was with some interest I turned to The TES (October 17) to read its coverage. Imagine my disappointment, therefore, to read the news article and Ted Wragg's Last Word. Even daily newspapers not noted for their enthusiasm for the teaching profession covered the item more positively than The TES.

From my many years spent in school staffrooms, I know that it is the back half of The TES that is turned to more frequently when teachers have a moment's rest, but at the end of the school day, they turn to the front to share some of their precious spare time with those who appreciate the profession.

The cartoon accompanying the news story was affectionately humourous and I'm sure that the campaign slogan printed next to the cartoon would have drawn many a weary teacher's eye.

What a shame, therefore, that instead of sharing with teachers their pleasure that at last their worth is being recognised and praised in cinemas, The TES gave a cynical account of the campaign launch.

I know that there are scores of thousands of excellent and very good teachers who deserve to be named, as I have been by Skin, the singer with Skunk Anansie, in the campaign film. I know those teachers are there because not only do I still teach part-time, I'm also part of the time that thing perhaps even more reviled than teachers, an inspector within the Office for Standards in Education system. Like most of my colleagues, I have "named" more good teachers than bad. It would have been nice if The TES could also have celebrated the profession on this occasion.

RUTH WEBB Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) Goldsmiths College, New Cross London SE14

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