LETTER:Teachers not solely to blame for poor lessons

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The Independent Online
From Mr C. Horncastle

Sir: Please accept some evidence in defence of our schools, not from me (it is outside my field), but from numerous parties of serving or training, primary and secondary teachers from abroad.

As part of my work with them, they are introduced, for a day or a week, to a school in this part of the country. For years, teachers from Japan, Austria, North Africa and Germany have been unanimous about two things: one, our facilities are superb; and two, our children are unruly, lacking concentration and (after age seven or so) less advanced than children in their own countries.

In private conversations, these colleagues also observe that British children, when at home, watch far more television and video, and do fewer hours' homework, than children in their own countries.

Clearly, there is more to the problem, but it would seem wrong to assume that teachers are at the centre of it.

Yours,

C. Horncastle

Co-director

Centre for

English Language and British Studies

University of East Anglia

Norwich

6 February

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