'Implicit contempt' for teachers

December 12, 1997

THE "big thinking" of Mary Lord, director of training and education of the Training and Enterprise Council, includes most of the usual hokum from those who claim to represent the views of business and industry (THES, December 5).

All that is par for the course and merits no further comment. What is wholly unacceptable is her reported comment that "some lecturers have never had a proper job". This implicit contempt for the profession of, in this case, higher-education teachers is symptomatic of a dangerous sickness in certain parts of our culture. Happily, most employers I know do not share such prejudices.

However, I wonder what benchmark of a "proper job" is being used - a middle ranking post in a quango?

Stewart Sutherland, Vice chancellorUniversity of Edinburgh

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