Time to talk

21st November 2003 at 00:00
My wife and daughter are successful primary school teachers. Both have what you might call "lively" classes. The last thing the children need is further encouragement to talk to each other! But I suppose the Department for Education and Skills knows better. Why else would it need a multi-million pound programme and guidelines for professionally qualified teachers?

I think I've worked it out, however: teachers are claimed to "need" guidelines on conversation because the bureaucrats and politicians have squeezed flexibility out of the timetable and at the same time spawned new generations of teachers who have been indoctrinated to need rigid frameworks within which to teach. Scrap the multi-million programme and give us enough resources to recreate imaginative primary school teaching.

Stuart Parry



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