We are not the top priority

1st July 2005 at 01:00
I am sure that Lindy Barclay wrote her Platform article "Teachers are more important than pupils", (TES, June 17) with a view to provoking your readers and stirring their little grey cells into action.

How can teachers be more important than pupils in a school? Without pupils there would be no teachers, support staff, governors, local education authorities, educational consultants (like me) and the Department for Education and Skills.

Of course teachers are very, very important. This must never be denied and the points made by Ms Barclay are lucidly set out.

There are two good reasons for all of us (especially the headteachers) to treat them well. First, that is the right and proper thing to do in organisations (i.e. schools) where the producers and products are human beings! Second, if pupils are to receive a good deal - as Ms Barclay points out - we have to give the staff delivering a service, a good deal.

However, there is a tacit assumption in her article that the interests of teachers and pupils never clash. This is naive.

From time to time, what will be good for teachers will be to pupils'

detriment and vice versa. When that happens, the pupils, in my book, will always come first.

David Sassoon

52 Claremont Park Finchley London N3

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now