Economist gave impoverished set of solutions

20th May 2011 at 01:00

I get anxious at how fast we move young people around a school - how quickly they finish one class and start another without time to gather themselves and see how they feel about what they've learned.

In "Head seeks to show Islam's 'broad values' by opening school to all", (page 3, 13 May) the revelation that at Tauheedul Islam Girls High School in Blackburn every lesson begins with 30 seconds of silence for individual prayer caught my attention. Whether in prayer or simply in personal reflection, this small window of peace enables young people to develop an ear to their inner stillness.

In contrast was the comment by Tim Leunig in "Hold headteachers to account by giving governors greater power to remove those who underperform" (Insight, page 29, 13 May) that "there is good evidence that teaching assistants do not work, insofar as classrooms with teaching assistants do not have better results than those without them".

This narrow definition of success ties in perfectly with the Government's "success" in reducing education to a series of skills and training for the job market.

Lucy Parry, Via email.

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