'Heartfelt' adieu paints too rosy a picture

6th September 2013 at 01:00

What a disappointment that Gerard Kelly, in his final editorial, chose to paint a picture of teaching in Britain as never having been in better health ("Not a long goodbye, but a heartfelt one", 30 August).

"Unions press on with their forlorn strikes", he writes (indeed, we are committed to striving to maintain our rights to fair pay, pensions and conditions of service). "The quality of recruits is phenomenally high" (however, applications for teaching courses have dropped significantly over the past five years). "The pay isn't bad" (it has been stagnant for three years). "Schools have never been better equipped" (which areas does he have in mind?). "Teachers deserve better" (correct).

Teachers, as I know from more than 35 years in the profession, are indeed the "natural optimists" that Mr Kelly describes them as. In light of this, perhaps now we will be presented with an editor who is better informed and willing to discuss the key issues in education without resorting to branding the NASUWT, the sister teaching union of the NUT, as "the country's most curmudgeonly union (with) the world's most unmelodious acronym".

"Readers will have to make do with well-intentioned prejudice": let's hope not.

Fred Greaves, Division secretary, Surrey NUT.

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, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today