The damage is done

15th March 2013 at 00:00

I was disappointed to read that I have caused "irreparable damage" to my students' education ("Lib Dems join fight against unqualified teachers", 1 March). So I would like to apologise.

In my 20 years of unqualified teaching I have worked with hundreds of pupils. How blind my department head must have been when he wrote in my evaluation: "Matthew's poise and enthusiasm for teaching are immediately evident. His students are getting a product of the highest quality." Now that I work as a private tutor, I must apologise to the parents of those students, also. To Harry's mother, for example. After four and a half terms being taught A-level maths by qualified teachers, he had managed to achieve only Es and Us in his modules. After three months working with me he was awarded an A*.

Education is not a homogeneous mass. There are many types of schools, students and teachers. In so far as I have been successful as a teacher it is because I have a passion for my subject and enjoy working with students. I'm saddened that teachers are increasingly selected not thanks to heads' judgements but from the analysis of human resources directors based on the right boxes having been ticked on an application form.

Matthew Handy, Tutor in mathematics, Dotmaths, Harrogate.

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