Letter: English by degrees

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The Independent Online
Sir: Mr E. Williams (letter, 21 March) asserts that the majority of secondary school English teachers 'have no formal qualifications in English language above O-level'. I am astounded that this statement has passed unremarked in your columns.

If one judges by the label alone, I suppose he has a case. Most have taken courses entitled literature. Most have degrees in English or a related subject, and are not familiar with the artificial barriers once drawn between literature and language in the classroom.

Their study of language was integral to their study of literature. Most, therefore, as members of a predominantly graduate profession, do possess formal qualifications above O-level.

Yours faithfully,


Head of English

English Centre

Haileybury College


24 March