Surely every pupil is an observer of teachers at work?
My own definition of a successful teacher is one whose pupils would rather pay attention than muck about.
But I do believe that all school rules should require the consent of an elected school council. School governing bodies should consist of three teachers, three pupils, three parents and two local authority appointees, one chosen by the full council, the other by the local councillor.
Had such a system existed at my 1970s grammar school, I believe we probably would have kept uniforms and homework. However, caning and petty rules on matters such as going out at lunchtimes would have been conspicuous by their absence.
Mark Taha, Sydenham, south-east London.