Naming the latest ludicrous idea

19th January 1996 at 00:00
The notion of naming poor teachers (TES, January 5) is the latest in a long line of extreme ideas that do little justice to the teaching profession. The simplicity of the idea would be laughable if it were not for the high levels of stress and anxiety it is likely to cause to so many enthusiastic and hard-working teachers.

The assumption that improvement in the quality of pupil learning will be brought about by policies of this kind is not only ludicrous, it is dangerous. If there is one thing more than any other which will improve things for pupils, it is the capacity of their teachers to learn. At best, teacher anxiety about this kind of policy merely delays this. At worst, it will prevent it altogether.

Is it not time that the Government realised that teachers are not merely tools for the implementation of policy. They are in a better position than anyone else to make decisions about what matters in classroom practice. Good teachers have always taken this responsibility seriously and they have a right to expect support and help for achieving their aims. A policy which does not take this into account is a calamity waiting for a disaster to happen.

DAVID WARE

Education consultant

84 Brampton Road

St Albans, Hertfordshire

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