Grow up and get over it

14th May 2004 at 01:00
I suppose we can derive one crumb of comfort from Douglas Osler's Platform article Don't waste your tears on classics (TESS, April 30). He is no longer senior chief inspector of schools.

It must be a matter of concern that a person with such a limited view of education should have held such an influential post for so many years, and it is hardly surprising that serious efforts are now having to be made to help Scottish education recover from the mess that educational administrators have landed it in.

No one would deny that the "basics" are very important and that education must take account of the latest discoveries, but Mr Osler's educational philosophy seems to be based on little more than what is popular and useful for the moment. His article contains not so much an argued case against classics as an irrational, emotional rant, based apparently on his own unhappy experiences as a pupil.

In this, he has ignored the advice which used to be given to young HMIs:

"Don't base your judgments on your own family's experiences."

Probably, most of us as children used to dream of getting our own back on teachers we did not like, but it is sad that Mr Osler has continued to harbour such a hatred of his Latin teacher that he felt compelled to write such a pathetic article after so many years. I hate to think of the damage that this obsession may have done during his days in power.

Henry Philip

Grange Loan

Edinburgh

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