Failure to calm parent fears;Letter

19th June 1998 at 01:00
Perhaps Chris Woodhead was trying to reassure parents of his motto "Only the best teaching will do". Yet the message which this parent got from it was: "All but the best teachers are useless."

As I see it, a good teacher helps and urges pupils to reach higher standard, while a bad teacher offers pupils little guidance and taunts them for their failure when they struggle.

The bad teacher might say to a large class: "Two of you can do this perfectly, so the rest of you should be having problems."

Why does Mr Woodhead claim to value good teaching and then talk like a bad teacher when commenting on struggling schools? He should be setting a better example to earn the right to judge them.

He also implies that parental support for teachers might be conditional on the quality of their teaching. On the contrary, we parents should be even more supportive when teachers are facing greater obstacles. If our support is withheld, it will cause further decline in those schools with the toughest problems.

E M Guyver

41 Meon Road Mickleton Chipping Campden Gloucestershire

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