Letter: Top of the class

Sir: Morpeth School has recently received recognition from Ofsted for achieving some of the greatest improvements in exam success. That has come through the collective effort of our staff, a spirit of mutual support, a willingness to share good practice and a recognition that all have positive things to contribute.

The Government is threatening to introduce performance-related pay (PRP). A handful of teachers will be paid more than the rest. Such a system fails to recognise that children learn best when teachers build on and support the work of each other. PRP will destroy the teamwork and mutual respect which made our good results possible.

Here in Tower Hamlets we are experiencing a major problem in recruiting and retaining staff in our schools. We do not believe that the proposals made in the Government's Green Paper to recruit more teachers by "fast- tracking" will work. The Government estimates that 1 in 20 of the most promising student teachers will be eligible for fast-tracking. Such a system would only serve to demoralise the other 95 per cent of teachers.

If graduates are to be recruited into the profession and existing staff retained, we need the Government to support teachers in doing their job. We need school buildings which are properly maintained. We need smaller class sizes. And we need the time and resources for all teachers to undertake further professional training and share experience.

We did not become teachers because we wanted to compete with our colleagues but because we wanted to help our pupils to achieve all that they are capable of.

MIKE ROY

and 32 other teachers

Morpeth School

London E2

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