Letters extra: Why we've been downgraded

6th April 2001 at 01:00

Is it really a surprise to anyone that the lowered status of teachers is now officially recognised? ("Census snub for teachers" TES, March 23).

Officials who run the national census were going to rank teachers alongside "higher professionals" such as directors and lawyers but have instead graded teaching as a "lower professional occupation".

I remember that before I left my headship in 1999 the newly appointed CEO talked to us confidently about 're-professionalising the profession.'

Of course, this didn't happen. It wouldn't though, would it, when anyone with an ounce of imagination and creativity left was hotfooting it out of the door before it was finally squeezed out of them.

The result is that even the innovative stuff that used to get me out of bed in the mornings and into school - like Jenny Mosely's emotional literacy work - is being watered down into something that is acceptable to the DFEE and therefore robbed of its original spark and excitement.

I refer particularly to literature I have seen on 'Sex and Relationships' which has loads on sex education but little on relationships; and 'Citizenship' which does refer to relationships but is so uninspirational only a civil servant could have written it.

Or a de-professionalised teacher perhaps.

Mark Edwards

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