Letter: What older teachers have to offer

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The Independent Online
Sir: Fran Abrams is correct ("Teachers' tales at the seaside", 4 April) when she writes that our current school system often also fails the damaged and disturbed child. However, it is precisely because teachers feel they are being left alone to cope with such disruptive pupils, unsupported and with fewer resources, that they choose to highlight the dramatic effects of pupil violence at their assemblies.

Far from just raising the issue as a soundbite, teachers in the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, at their Torquay conference, voted for a resolution which recognised that there was insufficient provision to deal with disruptive children under current legislation.

They also voted to seek the establishment of area committees involving parents, governors, social services, the police and other concerned organisations whose role would be to create structures for the care and welfare of disruptive pupils.

Teachers' unions have not "hijacked the issue". They have merely demanded that politicians do not ignore it. They have also offered some very constructive ways forward.

Eber A Kington

Branch Secretary (Merton)

Association of Teachers

and Lecturers

Ewell, Surrey

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