I Have just read Libby Purves' meander down memory lane, ("The Last Word", TES, July 20). It must have been nice in those days. And now for a quick postcard from reality - most schools declare study leave in April, at the beginning of the exam season, because they desperately need to redeploy their Year 11 and Year 13 staff onto exam invigilation - they can't staff it any other way unless they hire temporary staff.
People who have not been inside schools for a few years would find the number of candidates and exams being sat difficult to believe.
And after that? Well, I find the idea of more than a tiny minority volunteering to "help" a "favourite teacher" or wanting to hang around school quite absurd. Far too many of today's youngsters are full of restless energy, are rude and aggressive. They have been brainwashed by the prevailing youth culture into regarding teachers as uncool, sad individuals whose main aim is to hate them personally and torment them.
In general, they can't wait to get out, and quite frankly, the feeling is mutual. As long as we can hold the threat of exams over them, the lid can just about be kept on, but after that no way! Has Libby any experience of the kind of large-scale, nasty, violent disorder that can occur unless schools manage the Y11 exit intelligently?
No, let them get out and start learning from the University of Life!
Andrew Turner, 38 Swin Forge Way