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: letters@tes1.demon.co.uk

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