Time for looking on the bright side

3rd March 2006 at 00:00
I was disappointed to read Sandra Percy's article in last week's TESS, entitled "What's gone wrong?"

I was hoping for an insightful critique of Scottish school education, but instead got a piece of staffroom girning of the most depressing variety.

I respect Ms Percy's right to let off steam, but her reminiscences of her own apparently halcyon schooldays when "pupils would not dare to stand up for (their) own rights", but nevertheless "'turned out all right", smacked of the worst sort of educational nostalgia - a nostalgia that was no doubt being voiced by some teachers of "30 years' experience" when she was at school.

She laments the passing of staffrooms where "practical jokes were played", and classrooms where teachers could amuse pupils with "the odd joke at which we would all laugh". However, as far as I am aware, there continues to be no prohibition on either of these activities in Scottish schools.

I dread to think of the impact that such a downbeat article would have on a young person considering teaching as a career. Certainly, there are issues in Scottish schools with pupil behaviour and an assessment-driven curriculum. But couldn't we please be at least a little more positive about our job and the young people we teach?

John Devine

Depute headteacher Blairgowrie High

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today