Hard work dealing with soft skills

29th February 2008 at 00:00
Far from showing that "the Government's new five-hour cultural and sporting initiatives can be absorbed", your timetable (TES, February 22) demonstrates quite the opposite. The example has no space for assembly on three days and no time on any day for tutor groups - so much for the social and emotional aspects of learning or spiritual and moral development. French and Mandarin are each given one hour a fortnight - hardly a firm basis for linguistic success. And RE has half an hour once a fortnight, not only inadequate but unstatutory. I could go on.

To achieve the creativity the Government now belatedly desires, fundamental change is needed, based on loosening the straitjacket of unrelenting targets and testing felt throughout the school system. Ministers regularly adding to a wish list for the curriculum will achieve little of benefit.

Eleanor Benson, Secondary teacher, Heswall, Wirral, Merseyside.

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