Read my lips: we are aggrieved

14th September 2001 at 01:00
You don't know whether to laugh or cry. Tom Bentley, director of Demos, sat in on sessions with teachers and was "genuinely surprised by the degree of pent-up grievance". (TES, August 31). Such a discovery would not have come as news to readers, and you would expect a top government adviser on education to read The TES.

A TES profile of Tom Bentley described a bright young lad who went from university to Demos to advising David Blunkett. But he had, readers were assured, retained a grounding in reality because he had once worked in Gap. He's not alone. Nick Tate was an enthusiastic mouthpiece for the Government's assessment package, until he became a headteacher. "We got it wrong. It looks different when you are on this side of the fence."

Don't get me wrong. For years I've been arguing for honesty, in these pages and elsewhere. Those true-life confessions are oases in the bog standard desert of government deceit. I rejoice at moments of epiphany, when a bright youngster looks at the evidence and proclaims: "I see it now ...."

Paul Francis 7 Swan Meadow, Much Wenlock, Shropshire.

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