Puttnam's leap

September 29, 2000

"There is no question that the sort of person going into teaching is getting better and better," says Lord Puttnam ("Liberating staff from 'the pits'", THES, September 22). Notwithstanding the poor grammar, his remark is symptomatic of New Labour's patronising approach. It incorporates a gratuitous insult to all who joined the teaching profession before Puttnam's "great leap forward" and accepts the notion that the problems of education stem from the quality of the profession. If only life were that uncomplicated.

Roy Smith

Centre for Educational Research

Christ Church University College Canterbury

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