How to attract the brightest and best

4th December 1998 at 00:00
The headline for the report of my recent speech to the Girls' Schools Association ("Ministers accused of causing teacher shortage", TES, November 20) carries an implication that is wholly unfounded. I made no such accusation nor does the report justify the headline.

Not only do I support current ministerial policies, but the Teacher Training Agency, which I chair, last month joined ministers in launching an exciting new teacher supply and recruitment initiative. In response to a press query, I condemned the previous government for its strident criticism of teachers. I support the current Government's more measured approach, which balances a high regard for the achievements of teachers with vigorous action where schools, teachers or teacher-trainers are actually failing.

It is currently the media not the Government which seeks to perpetuate a poor image of teaching.

Professor Clive Booth

Teacher Training Agency London SW1

The editor writes: the headline actually said "Ministers' criticisms blamed for shortages" and is borne out by Professor Booth's letter and his criticism at the GSA of the "naming and shaming" of schools.

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