Who is watching the watchmen?

31st August 2012 at 01:00

So, the government is to put emphasis on the teaching of grammar and children are to be tested to ensure that all is well. Let us all give thanks for this small piece of progress.

However, one has some reserve about premature celebration. In the English Sat paper set this year for key stage 2 children, they were asked to write a letter to their headteacher asking for a celebrity to visit the school. Pupils had to "explain who you would like to invite." It might reassure us to know that those setting the test know the difference between "who" and "whom" and other basic grammar rules before presuming to judge the quality of our teaching.

Years ago, somebody clever said: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Apparently, the question still needs to be asked.

Pat O'Byrne, Merstham, Surrey.

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