No blame should be accepted

2nd May 1997 at 01:00
While I would not disagree with any of the ideas contained within "A teachers' manifesto" (TES, April 18), I cannot agree that these improvements alone would be sufficient to raise standards to the "desired levels". I feel that, as teachers, we appear to be in danger of falling into the same trap as all the political parties.

We do not teach independently of society and social change, and many of the problems encountered in schools ( undoubtedly, exacerbated by lack of funding, constant change and fear of league tables) result from high unemployment, social deprivation and the consequent breakdown of family life.

Politicians of all parties need to address these social ills before any of their "targets" can possibly be realised.

Teachers should refuse to accept the blame for falling standards and include in any future "Teachers' Manifesto" social issues such as reducing unemployment, introduction of the minimum wage, and racial and sexual equality.

JANET LATIMER

45A Don Avenue Sheffield, South Yorkshire

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