Letters extra: Fining teachers is bullying

23rd March 2001 at 00:00

I am interested in Mr Blunkett's incentives to encourage former teachers to return. However, I am horrified by reports suggesting he is going to fine teachers taking industrial action. They are turning up for work. They are doing the job they are contracted to do. The threat of fines and deductions from salaries is little short of bullying.

Mr Blunkett has no understanding of what teachers face. My weekly regime was 70 plus hours. I have four children. My body, my mind and my family were all telling me to get a life. I finally did.

I left teaching, not because I fell out of love with my chosen profession, but because I was thoroughly demoralised. There is nothing like the buzz of working with teenagers, knowing that you have challenged and inspired them. Yet, increasingly, I was ground down by paperwork, targets, a miserable working environment, and constant demands to do things unrelated to teaching.

The Government must accept responsibility for the state of teaching today and do something about it. Stopping beating teachers with political sticks would be a start.

Maureen Harrison
Preston, Lancashire

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