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Conor Ryan, as a former special adviser to David Blunkett, is no doubt assured of a voice in the media. The scarcely-veiled sycophancy of his piece ("Tough Estelle who wins without a fight", TES June 29), and its recommendation of a continuing hardline with teachers, suggests he'll not be looking for a teaching post in an inner-city comprehensive.

Most teachers will find comments on the facing page, by Caroline St John-Brooks ("Let's hope privatisation talk is just a bluff"), nearer to the mark. Pragmatic and stoical, they are holding judgment on Ms Morris. She will have to signal a transformation on policies over the past two decades to win their support.

Peter Dean 11 Garden Fields Little Shelford, Cambridge

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