State teachers' 'betrayal' is nothing of the sort

23rd October 2009 at 01:00

I must admit I was digusted by Ellie Levenson's insuation that as a teacher at a comprehensive I would be "betraying my profession" if I decided to send my child to a private school ("Good enough for other people's kids won't do," October 16).

Ms Levenson's idealistic world in which all schools can deliver the same standard of education is simply not the world in which we live. There will always be schools - comprehensive and private - that attract more effective staff or have the resources to afford the best equipment and training.

I see nothing wrong with wanting the best I can get for my child, and don't think anyone else should either. I am absolutely committed to providing the best standard of education I can for any student that enters my classroom. But I recognise that I work in a flawed system where, given the resources to improve facilities and teach a smaller number of students at a time, I would no doubt provide my pupils with a better education. Unfortunately, it is often private schools that have the resources to do this, and it will still be the option of choice for those parents who can afford it until the state education system catches up. If I have the ability when the time comes, I will use it like anyone else.

Many comprehensive teachers do a fantastic job without the resources and time that private schools supply. No one betrays their profession by seeking any advantage they can get for their families; it is those who try to penalise teachers for doing the best they can that betray not their profession, but their lack of understanding.

P Mattock, Second in mathematics, Fitzharrys School, Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

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