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Useful work of 'foaming' fringe

Having sat through a few Easter conferences, I've often wondered what on earth those journalists at the front found to do with their expenses-paid time. Hopefully, "parent and journalist" Jill Parkin is not typical of the breed ("No, comrade, I don't feel your pain", TES, April 14).

This doughty commentator confronts the menacing chasm between union and members, nobly exposing the "foaming fringe" of union activists which must be excised from the sane body of "normal teachers" to save the world of education.

Ms Parkin writes, "Without the foaming fringe, you'd then be free to discuss what unions are supposed to major on - pay and conditions" and then in the next sentence that "its big showcase conferences should concentrate on educational issues".

Typically, she chooses to ignore the continuing popularity of teacher unions which, of course, do both and much more. In an education system which spits out teachers, members know, when called upon, the voice of the local "foaming" union activist might just save their sanity.

Doug Macari Parent, teacher and NUT member 39 Heath Road, Langley, Kent

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