Let the rebels quit school at 14

3rd January 2003 at 00:00
YOU report Conor Ryan (adviser to David Blunkett when he was Education Secretary) as saying that we should let pupils quit school at 14 (TES, November 22).

I left school at 15 with no qualifications. I did not want to know about education and continued in this vein while working on a building site until I was 23.

It was only then I thought that I had better get some education. I did a part-time day release course at a local FE college. Now, 27 years later I am still doing a part-time course. In between I have achieved among other qualifications, City and Guilds in three subjects, and an honours degree. I have been an FE lecturer and work as a school teacher.

I wish I could have left school at 14. I was ready for work then. It was only seven or eight years later that I saw the light. A good teacher, parent, counsellor may be able to enlighten a child who wants to be enlightened. But the out-and-out rebel will not see sense. I feel they ought to be able to leave at 14.

David Healey 16 Wittenbury Road Heaton Norris Stockport

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