Letter: Professional teaching

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The Independent Online
Sir: Mr John Patten, in appealing to the 'professionalism' of teachers to induce them to carry out tests, betrays an inadequate understanding of what professionalism means.

It is the duty of a professional to put obligations to inferiors above the need to conciliate superiors. If the teachers think that their pupils cannot be adequately prepared for this year's tests, it is their duty to refuse.

If Mr Patten wishes to understand professionalism, he should read the letter in which Oliver Cromwell refused an order to march his men several hundred miles across country with two left boots each.

Yours sincerely,

CONRAD RUSSELL

House of Lords

London, SW1

8 April

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