Talking Point

1st November 2002 at 00:00
What do teachers think of Estelle Morris's shock resignation and her successor, Charles Clarke? Adi Bloom asked them...

Angela Ellison, teacher, Highbury infants, Hertfordshire: "Estelle Morris was very middle-of-the-road and we liked it, but we never thought to say it."

John Adams, head, Coleman primary, Leicester: "I am very sorry that Estelle Morris left, she showed the human side of politics. I am worried about Mr Clarke. He has the image of being a hard man, but what we are looking for is someone who shows empathy with teachers."

Liz Moffat, head, Dowdales school, Cumbria: "Charles Clarke comes with a reputation for toughness. I just hope his toughness is focused in the right direction: that he is not unnecessarily tough with teachers, but tough with the people who give the money out."

Steve Holdup, head, Dallam school, Cumbria: "Education is a frontline ministry, so I am pleased to have someone who is obviously going to be strong promoting it in Cabinet."

Phil Jones, head, Alderman Richard Hallam primary, Leicester: "I am utterly disappointed that Estelle Morris resigned. She came from the grassroots with some kind of vision and a lot of common sense. Not since the 1970s had I felt so confident someone had a handle on schools."

Anne Hernandez, teacher, Year 1, Mellor community primary, Leicestershire:

"Estelle Morris was a good example of forward-thinking and solid-thinking. I had a great deal of respect for her. I am saddened that a man has been given the job. The profession is mainly female."

Robert Huck, teacher, Whitehaven school, Cumbria:

"I think Estelle Morris has made history: she's drawn a line which other politicians may think about crossing. She has been incredibly honest - she was honest with us and with herself."

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