Talking point

9th April 2004 at 01:00
Mark Fogerty's son Charlie, seven, and daughter Emma, four, attend Our Lady of the Wayside primary, Solihull: "Teachers have too many jobs to fit into too little time so classroom assistants have to take over. But they are there to assist a qualified person. They shouldn't be doing a teacher's job.

"I don't think there's too much testing. It was much worse when I was at primary school. But I don't think league tables should be printed. There are often mitigating circumstances that are not taken into account on paper. Published results just deceive people."

Stephanie Ward's son, 13, and daughter, 12, attend Arden comprehensive, Solihull: "I'm against private schools. I think all children should attend state schools. But if my back was against a wall, I would probably send my child to a private school."

Jacqui Hampton's son Charlie, 15, is at Freebrough comprehensive, Redcar and Cleveland: "I'm very happy with our school. The pastoral care has been excellent. I didn't choose it because of its grades, I chose it because my son wanted to go there. It's where his friends are."

Karen Knowles's daughter Claire, nine, and son Robert, eight, attend St John Boste Roman Catholic primary, Washington, Sunderland: "I am very happy with state education and would never send my children to a private school.

They get an excellent education and an abundance of pastoral care and I would not want them becoming cut off from the real world. I agree with testing at 14, but children should not be tested at seven or 11 as that is too young."

Jo Counsell's son Peter, 17, attends The Royal Latin school, in Buckingham, and son Jack, six, attends Wyvern first school in Milton Keynes: "I am very happy with the state system and would not consider sending my children to private schools. Testing children at seven is ludicrous because children are all at different levels of development then."

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