It's a vocation thing

28th February 2003 at 00:00
Your article (TES, February 14) on vocational teachers required in secondary education was very interesting.

There has always been, and I'm sure still are, many teachers with industrial backgrounds. I was one, who served an apprenticeship in masonry in Bath during the post-war "blitz" restoration period.

Later I trained at Bolton Technical Teachers' Training College. Since masonry requires spatial perception and a knowledge of geometry it was a good basis for teaching my first subject, the now extinct technical drawing in the secondary sector.

In one secondary modern school we set up mode three courses in building, engineering and catering used by five other local schools.

I am sure my experience was not unique. Andy Hudson and John Trafford could still find serving teachers who could give them valuable advice about the provision of vocational staff.

I hope they are successful and the courses achieve, to use an old phrase, parity of esteem. At least I hope things have improved from the time when one headteacher was happy for me to include my MEd and BSc in the school handbook, but not my City and Guilds and National Certificates.

David Christie

20 Deane Drive



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