Threat to the operation of schools

14th December 2012 at 00:00

I am bemused at the right-wing tone of Gerard Kelly's editorial ("The carrot is not the root of all evil", 7 December), especially in a publication whose readership is more likely to have views to the left of centre. The overall views of teachers should face the occasional challenge but a message of "shut up and get on with it, you whingers" is unlikely to boost your readership.

Mr Kelly needs to recognise that there are some genuine and deep-rooted concerns about the barrage of changes introduced by this government. Many teachers share my view that these attacks on pay and conditions are part of an ideologically motivated suite of policies designed to destroy the unions' remaining power and to make it easier to allow providers to profit from running schools.

I believe the new pay arrangements will only succeed in undermining the way in which successful schools operate, where staff support each other and the school acts as a community - not as a group of individuals only "out for number one".

There are also significant problems regarding the reliability of pupil performance data on which such decisions might be based. Mr Kelly's faith in the ability of school leaders to apply such a policy in a just and Solomonic manner is touching but one wonders how recently (if ever) he has worked in a school.

It is entirely understandable that the headteachers of many schools will stay well away from this, since they recognise that this has the potential to undermine the trust and working relationships in their schools.

It is major error for the teachers in any school to be treated as if they were the sales force of a confectionery company.

Nigel A. May, Waltham Abbey, Essex.

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