Letter: Children who will not learn

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The Independent Online
Children who will not learn

Sir: I resigned from a career in the Royal Navy five years ago, for the sole purpose of going in to teaching, and eventually took up a post in a comprehensive school.

The staff had to contend with the most dreadful ill-mannered, foul-mouthed, boorish, and at times violent conduct, and yet had to maintain the most meticulous standards in their responses. Those children who really wanted to progress were of course held back by the minority, and your leading article "The deal was to educate" (25 October) highlights the problem very clearly.

Though more money is needed, on its own it will not provide the solution. Two badly behaved pupils in a class of 30 can easily take up 90 per cent of the teacher's time and effort. If parents really want the best for their children, then they must actively support teachers. By that I do not mean blindly, nor without proper criticism (for not all teachers are wonderful), but at least in the pragmatic realisation that their children's own self-interests are best served if they behave in a reasonable manner. Parents must take responsibility for their offspring, and stop blaming bad behaviour on bad teaching.

IAN M PERRY

Corsham, Wiltshire

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