LETTER : Comprehensives work when the teachers are up to it

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The Independent Online
I MUST take issue with the sentiments expressed by N Gillott (Letters, 6 August). Comprehensive schools have clearly been a great success story. The evidence for this is provided by the improving successes of students in public examinations.

I have taught for 21 years in comprehensive schools in Scotland, the North-east and the West Midlands. I have found teaching pupils of all abilities to be interesting, challenging and rewarding. If there are any heads, schools or groups of teachers for whom "it is just far too tall an order to cope with and cater for the whole gamut of requirements presenting itself in an average secondary intake of 11-year-olds", may I suggest that it is they who cannot cope and not the intake or philosophy that is at fault. Incidentally, we have appointed seven new teachers to the school over the last three years. They are all excellent. This gives me far more cause for optimism than N Gillott's letter.

Peter Shaw

Fradley, Staffordshire

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