Letters extra: Blunkett wrong to attack teachers

23rd March 2001 at 00:00

How wrong and misguided for Education Secretary David Blunkett to attack teachers over the present industrial action.

In his comments he tried to infer that teachers are not fully committed to helping young people. If anything, it is his own purported desire to see standards increase and youngsters get the best start, which is in question. It can hardly coax the best from our youngsters when so many of them are taught by short term supply or non-specialist cover teachers, or by overworked permanent staff.

Teachers are entitled to an agreed number of free periods in which to prepare and mark work. This cannot be done properly if they are having to cover for absence or unfilled posts.

The losers in all this are the pupils. Teachers are standing up for what is right. Having tried to persuade the government to take them seriously, they have no choice but to take industrial action.

M J Baker
Gravesend, Kent

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