Kicked off the mailing list

2nd May 1997 at 01:00
I read with much interest Christine Counsell's comments about the interference of outside agencies in the day-to-day professional life of teachers (TES, History Extra, April 11). As a teacher of history for more than 20 years, I have had to come to terms with many changes recommended by local education authority advisers, inspectors or worthy academics.

The wonderful thing was that we could choose whether to implement those changes depending on the circumstances of our particular school environment and culture and, more importantly, in the light of our professional judgment. This is no longer the case. Now we are servants of a centralised system.

The latest victim of this inexorable bureaucratic process is A-level. We now have to suffer the indignity of prescribed curriculum restrictions. Who exactly is making these decisions and from what academic stable do they come?

The examination boards seem to have salvaged some of the good practice developed in partnership with teachers but has any real consultation taken place about the curriculum framework imposed on them? If so, we, as teachers, are certainly off the mailing list. It is, therefore, very important to identify the policy-makers so that their experience is respected by those whose task it is to implement the changes.

Surely mutual respect and debate lay at the very heart of education at this level - or maybe not?


Hampstead School Westbere Road London NW2

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