Griping will not help the children

17th March 2000 at 00:00
AS A teacher, let me say, Mr Blunkett, that we have never considered socio-economic status as the sole defining factor in school performance.

We do recognise that poverty is one of the factors affecting children's performance in school - a professional opinion backed up, I believe, by a large body of research.

We also recognise that it is just ONE factor among many. Others include diet, sleep, age, quality of teaching, quality of parenting, and quality of political support, and many more that could be mentioned.

We are tired of this continual innuendo which blames teachers, and teachers alone, for the poor quality of children's education. Whitehall and Westminster have made our professional life a nightmare for too many years.

We get no enuine support and a great deal of ignorant criticism. We have become a convenient scapegoat for an ill-thought-out "change for change's sake" policy.

There are three partners in children's education - parents, teachers and government. All three bear a shared responsibility for the present overall state of our education system, and all three share the responsibility for improving it. Each of these three partners could spend all day griping about the other two - but to what end?

Since we are partners in one of the most important processes any community can undertake, then we have to support, and co-operate with each other.

If we don't it is the children who suffer most.

Mike Todd

27 Main Street

Askham Bryan


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