Letter: Let teachers get on with their job

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article "A theme for Labour's school song" (8 June) hits at least one nail on the head when it distinguishes between education and education policy.

As a, now retired, professional, who has taught in three types of schools (grammar, technical and comprehensive) and in teacher education, I have been amazed at the confusion in the press between these two concepts. The overwhelming majority of teachers with whom I have come into contact treat the job of teaching pragmatically. What matters to them in teaching any subject is what "works", based on their experience in schools. They will accept education policy as giving general direction to their work, granted it does not interfere with their professional judgement of what works in their circumstances.

Here lies the rub. Too many so-called policy statements from the politicians have been concerned with such matters as how to teach reading, or whether classes should be taught in groups, and so on. Let teachers decide this for themselves based on their collective experiences and on whatever evidence research provides.

Professor NORMAN GRAVES

Epsom, Surrey

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