Moved by opinion

14th July 2006 at 01:00
The TES Scotland letters page often contains some very interesting, well thought-out points. Your edition last week contains three letters which have moved me to contact you.

* "A degree too far". When I started teaching in 1974, there was a choice of schools for all new teachers. Even the poorest teachers were given permanent contracts - and many are still teaching.

* "Lawless in Fife", about abusive pupils, can be translated to the rest of the country, in my opinion.

* The letter entitled "Class disruptions" is what really rang true for me and, I expect, many teachers. There are many good managers out there, both in schools and in education offices, but there are all too many who are glad that they are not at the chalkface and do not support those who are.

Teachers who write these letters are very brave to do so - they are writing from the heart. They feel powerless to do anything about pupil indiscipline, but the school will have a policy, of course. It exists on paper to satisfy inspectors, but is rarely put into practice. Many headteachers will not exclude disruptive pupils, because they see this as black marks for the school (or perhaps them personally).

I was very lucky; I took voluntary, premature retirement in 2005 but still feel strongly enough to be moved by these letters.

Alan Robson

Western Road, Strongarbh Tobermory, Isle of Mull

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