Letter: School gimmicks

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Mentors and special tuition for 10 per cent of bright pupils. Who dreams up these gimmicks at the Department for Education and Employment? I have just retired after 30 years as teacher and head and the stupidity of this department never ceases to astonish me.

The answer to the problems of difficult schools is smaller teaching groups, which enable the teacher to give more time to the special needs of pupils.

Instead of wasting millions of pounds on "initiative a day" management, just give the money to schools and allow them to employ more teachers (not mentors, whatever they are.)

Many MPs, including Mr Blair, have moved their children to schools with budgets that enable them to operate small teaching groups. Listen to the teachers, Mr Blair, not the civil servants. Classes of thirty are a disgrace and it is about time class size was brought into line with the private sector.


Harpenden, Hertfordshire