With the death of one student you think of the others who have died or who could have died. During my career I have had to check whether certain students recovering from anorexia were eating meals. At another school two students were suicidal; one after incest. These were pupils for whom I, as their classroom teacher, held responsibility.
And what of the impact when a student kills himself because his grades are not good enough? The experience of such a death still haunts me. We concentrate on results and target-setting: his death was the logical end of such emphases. I am part of the process that kills people; so is the Government.
These are some of the ghosts that haunt me after 20 years' teaching, ghosts that aren't mentioned when you start to teach.
Alastair Gunn is a senior teacher in a Hertfordshire secondary school