. . .but holidays are the final straw

26th December 1997 at 00:00
The two letters last week about teachers' own children getting a raw deal in terms of lack of time and attention from their parents and about Tony Blair's latest wizard wheeze of drastically reducing teachers' holidays as well, will be seen as the last straw by many.

Most teachers, certainly at least the most hard-working teachers, could not physically work any more days in a year.

The Government does not see that it is the quality of the time children spend in school, not the amount of time, which matters.

Teaching will become so unattractive that good teachers will leave in droves, recruitment will dry up, the quality of teaching will fall, and there will be a crisis in schools the like of which no one has ever seen.

And all because, I suspect, Tony Blair wants schools to act as sort of childminders so that he can force more single mothers to go out to work.

Just as many teachers were hoping for a change of Government and for some sensible policies on education, we get something worse (at least the previous Education and Employment Secretary Gillian Shepherd had started to listen to teachers).

If the Government doesn't do something positive for teachers soon it will find it doesn't have any. Still maybe it can send in the army!

MARK HELLEN

56 Bowthorpe Road Norwich Norfolk

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