We have to keep control

6th February 2004 at 00:00
Roger Hancock (TES, January 23) claims that the retention by teachers of pedagogic responsibility for pupils, in the remodelling process, is a "flawed concept" since teaching assistants working with one pupil or a group will develop a spontaneous pedagogic relationship with the pupils. I am sure they would otherwise there will seem little point educationally in the whole process. However, it is the teacher who has the responsibility for ensuring that these relationships are part of a general learning programme for pupils.

One inference to be drawn from Roger Hancock's analysis is that classroom assistants should not be used in any capacity since to do so would apparently endanger the teacher's pedagogic responsibility for hisher pupils. I cannot believe that this is a scenario which a great number of teachers who, over the years, have so valued the contribution of classroom assistants, would contemplate with any equanimity.

Eamonn O'Kane General secretary National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

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