Print phobia brought on by imbalance in ethics

31st January 1997 at 00:00
In her latest chiding of the teaching profession (TES, January 17), Hilary Wilce exposes the power of the press and the difference in professional ethics between them and teachers.

A teacher with recalcitrant pupils does not expect their behaviour to excuse a failure to educate them: it is a teacher's responsibility to find means to develop their skills, and not to blame pupils for difficulties and failures. When teachers forget this, the press is quick to blame them.

If, however, the press systematically misrepresents the work of the teaching profession, it is the teachers who are to blame. They have not given priority to learning the ways of the media and finding the best way to present themselves. It is not the responsibility of reporters to overcome these difficulties in pursuit of their commitment to the truth.

Of course, teachers are scared of the press. Power without responsibility is a fearful thing.

GEORGE HERON 17 Parksway Prestwich, Manchester

Letters should be kept as brief as possible. They should be sent to The Editor, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY Fax: 0171 782 3200e-mail:

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today