Oscars for top performers

18th April 1997 at 01:00
(Photograph) - Sir David Puttnam (pictured left) Film producer

I would like to see an annual award ceremony to reward outstanding teachers.

It's crucial that the community understands there is no future for Britain in the 21st century unless the standard of education improves dramatically. And that is not going to happen until we have a teaching profession which is valued and which values itself.

More money will help, but it's not everything. I know from my experience in the film industry that quality of work and job satisfaction are not related to money alone.

We need a cultural shift in the perception of the teaching profession by teachers and the community at large. An official annual award would be a public acknowledgement of the work done by the best teachers. It would be presented at a world-class annual ceremony as a recognition of people who really deliver and whom the profession can be really proud of.

I also think the development of information technology is a great opportunity, especially for helping low achievers. Electronic images will become a dominant feature in every classroom and I would like to see teachers working with people in the audio-visual industry to create world-class curriculum materials.

It would put Britain at the forefront of the drive towards an audio-visual education, instead of running to catch up with the rest of the world.

We need a highly-skilled workforce to compete. The idea that Britain can prosper as a low-wage low skill economy is the great Tory lie and it has done geat damage.

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