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What we are wishing for

MORE classroom assistants, fewer exams, and a contract with Hogwarts are top of 2003 wishlists for education professionals.

Helen Bailey, deputy head of Queen Elizabeth high school in Hexham, Northumberland, said: "I wish every school was a bog- standard comprehensive with enough resources to get out of the bog, but still remain a true comprehensive."

Teaching student Claire Prewett, 20, studying at the University of Gloucestershire, said: "I do not think you can get enough classroom support. The more one-to-one you are with children the more they seem to learn."

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "I would like to see a stop to this nonsense of heads having to go cap in hand to the Secretary of State in order to innovate and be autonomous."

Eamonn O'Kane, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, wants Ted Wragg appointed "education tsar" with Chris Woodhead as his deputy.

TES columnist Professor Wragg, from Exeter University, was flattered, but had a different wish. "Those who say poverty doesn't matter to educational achieve-ment should try it out," he said.

Nigel McQuoid, head of Emmanuel college, Gateshead, wants children's moral and spiritual development to be valuedabove mere academic qualifications."

James Miller, head of the Royal grammar school, Newcastle, said: "My personal wish is not to be sued."

Damian Green, Opposition education spokesman wants Charles Clarke to admit the 50 per cent target for university entrance is a nonsense and drop it.

Retired head of science Tony Cressey, now an examiner, has a list of wishes: "May all students follow the rubric, all papers be received by examiners, all markers be infallible, all grades be accepted immediately and all of Qualifications and Curriculum Authority make sensible decisions. But most of all, may I be a visiting examiner at Hogwarts?"

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