Wilding is no child from hell

3rd May 1996 at 01:00
We are greatly dismayed by the case of Richard Wilding. Although we completely agree that bad behaviour in classrooms is unacceptable we were not aware that the job of a trade union was to gang up on one child and his parents.

We were opposed to the proposed strike against a child when it is a teacher's job to control children. Richard Wilding is not "the child from hell" nor does he represent the "modern malaise". He is only a 13-year-old boy.

The teachers at Glaisdale school are not the only people who are projecting their problems on to children; being a teacher in 1996 is a difficult and stressful job, but it is not Richard Wilding's fault if the resources required to teach effectively are not available.

The proposed strike in Nottingham served only to reinforce the vicious and counter-productive spiral of "Blame the teachers - blame the parents" that has dogged the education debate for years. The Government blames teachers for declining standards, then teachers blame parents. Now it seems badly behaved little boys are behind the problem.

Neither teachers nor parents are to blame for the problem that Richard Wilding came to represent. Nor should one child bear responsibility for the failure to deliver high quality education to all.

What parents, teachers and children share is the need for better funded education.

We are prepared to work towards free, high quality education for all and would like to talk to anyone else who shares this goal.

BERNADETTE WHELAN WENDY EARLE KATE MOORCOCK RICHARD WOOLFENDEN 223 Highbury New Park London N5

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