Still irritated at level of debate

31st March 2000 at 01:00
I WAS disappointed that those who responded to my article "Colonic irritation" on the literacy strategy (TES, March 3) chose to ignore the points it contained, preferring instead to attack what they perceived as my ignorance, isolation, or "progressive" stance.

One correspondent constructed an entire pedagogic identity for me, central to which was the notion that I never darkened the door of a junior school.

In fact, it is precisely because I am well informed about the literacy strategy and its current framework, and interested in engaging in debate, that I took the trouble to write. For the record, I've visited junior schools to see the literacy hour in action, attended semiars and presentations on its implementation, and talked to primary colleagues about its strengths and weaknesses. Its implications have been discussed at length in my own department and are being taken into account as we revise our key stage 3 curriculum.

I am not opposed to the strategy on principle, and I find some aspects of its methodology useful.

However, I stand by the two key points made in the article. These are that the framework is over- ambitious, and that it effectively supplants the existing and recently revised English Order. I'm interested to hear from anybody who seriously contests these points.

Iain MacDonald

Jordan Road, Sutton Coldfield

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