We can learn from England's success

25th February 2005 at 00:00
I could not agree more with Ken Reid ("An easy fix to gain votes", TES Cymru, February 18). The best behaviour strategies are founded on a more appropriate curriculum and better special educational needs provision.

That is why I found his article such a dreadful model of sloppy learning and narrow thinking. His envoi that Wales needs to find nationalistic but all-party solutions about behaviour is just daft. How pupils and children operate, behave, achieve, or fail to achieve in Wales is essentially the same set of issues, challenges and potentialities as in England or elsewhere in the UK.

Wishing for Welsh political harmony as a solution is not worth a row of beans considering the scale, depth, and cost (human and financial) of "our" current behaviour problems. Academics have time: our teachers do not, and our pupil need is of this moment.

England has come up with a strong central strategy, now in its third or fourth year; given clear teacher and school advice and support through targeted central services and a series of websites that abound with ideas, lesson plans and research; and has stumped up serious funding to back pupil-referral unit, school and classroom provision.

I think this is worth "us" looking at. They have got on with ideas, support and funding while we are still forming a committee.

There is no panacea anywhere, but "over the water" is not far to look to save some time and avoid bad ideas. Forget politics and focus on policy and practice.

Terry Mackie

25 Windsor Esplanade, Cardiff

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