Self-esteem is not just for children;Letters;News amp; opinion

5th November 1999 at 00:00
ADAM Abdelnoor hits the nail firmly on the head (TES, October 22). Raising the self-esteem of children is fundamental for their well-being and capacity to learn. But the self-esteem of headteachers needs taking care of too.

I have been a primary head for eight years, the period that coincides with all the massive changes. Over this period I have seen numerous colleagues "go down" - taking early retirement, extended sick leave, etc - and voiced my concerns to the local education authority several times. The consistent message was that the individuals were at fault, not the system.

What we do not have any longer is a caring educational culture. It is of course the legacy of Thatcherism - it is not possible for teachers, who do their best of course, to care properly for children's emotional needs unless their own are cared for. Does the buck stop with Tony? Maybe.

If you really care about education, Mr Blair, please pause to think about what that verb means.

Mark Edwards

36 George Street

Bedford

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