What the teachers say

9th July 1999 at 01:00
JENNY RUSSON, headteacher at Fen Ditton Primary School, near Cambridge, said: "I would have some worries that identifying a particular teacher within a school could be divisive.

"But in general I think that anything that raises the profile of teaching is wonderful, because at the moment, we are at rock bottom. Given all the criticism we hear, anything which is more positive has to be a real advantage and a step in the right direction."

PETER BARNES, headteacher of Gateacre school, Liverpool, said: "We didn't give it any great consideration but it's always nice when good practice gets an accolade. The difficulty many schools find is that the teaching process isn't about individualism, it is more of a team game and we all contribute in our own way. I like to hear of good people getting a pat on the back, but it is fraught with difficulties and there are many equally deserving."

DR JOE PAJAK, principal of Ernulf community school, St Neots, Cambridgeshire, said: "I do not feel ever so positive about the idea of teachers' Oscars.

"I can see that from the point of view of someone who is not in the profession, the Oscars could be seen as raising the profile of teachers. But I don't think teachers as a whole will view them that positively. What we need is good professional training for teachers, opportunities to grow in the job, and a good career structure. Just to award Oscars seems very hit and miss, and I would tend to go along with the idea that it's a bit of a cosmetic exercise."

STEVE LANCASHIRE, headteacher of Canonbury junior school, Islington said: "Anything which promotes the status of teachers in the public eye is a good thing. However, for every teacher awarded an Oscar there are probably another thousand doing an equally good job. It is good the profession is being recognised and I am sure those people awarded them work very hard and I think recognition could come in many ways."

Platform, 15 Friday magazine, 4-6

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