Disaster - or the road to remedy?

17th October 2008 at 01:00

Now that billions of pounds are being poured into the banks that caused the chaos, education will face huge cuts. Is this disaster, or the only way to arrive at the necessary changes identified over the past 10 years?

We know that the Pounds 50m literacy campaign had no effect but caused huge stress to pupils and teachers. Most people now hate Sats and realise they have made this country one of the unhappiest in the world to grow up in. It is unhappy for teachers, too, as was clear from your report "Pupils' results have direct impact on teachers' pay", in The TES last week.

The early years foundation stage seemed a good idea, but no one foresaw that when goals are linked to an outcomes duty, teachers are forced to raise profile scores by hook or by crook, so toddlers miss their play for catch-up reading. These children will not be happy teens.

Academies, too, show all the signs of disaster waiting to happen. Remember the Corbusier-inspired tower blocks of the 1970s, with their open spaces that led to alienation and loneliness, until one was demolished by an exploding gas cooker and the project was abandoned.

Do we really need such things as computer-operated electronic boards that bathe the classroom in low-level radiation and whose breakdown costs a month of a teacher's salary?

Perhaps all this chaos is a blessing in disguise.

Grethe Hooper Hansen, Retired teacher, Bath.

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