Refresher for short memories

30th June 2000 at 01:00
YOUR editorial on the response of teachers to the Government's landslide of initiatives and the Conservatives so-called "new-found enthusiasm for education" seems to indicate just what short memories some teachers (and journalists) appear to have.

You say that the Tories have "struck a chord with teachers fed-up with central diktats from a Government who seem hell-bent on piling more and more pressure on schools".

There may well have been far too many initiatives from this Government. However, I seem to remember 18 recent years of Conservative rule when money was cut, autonomy was removed, conditions of service were altered without consultation, a national curriculum was introduced and changed at least three times, assessment, Office for Standards in Education, local management of schools ... I coud go on and on.

No Government is all good. But three things this Government has done show up as clear as day:

I am getting extra money to spend on developing and improving my small school; this Government has taken a giant step (through the National Grid for Learning and the money to improve school buildings for example) to try to enable all teachers and children to work in surroundings fit for the 21st century, instead of the Conservatives' approach of focusing on the favoured few.

Primary schools at last have a curriculum from September that begins to represent something that children and teachers need, instead of the Conservative version which was intent on leading this country back to the 19th century, never mind forward to the 21st.

R Hall

2 North Parade


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