29 MARCH 1963, Page 16


Sta,—I have read with interest your leading article 'The New Prefects' (Spectator, March 22), dealing with changes in our educational structure. May I make a few comments on the Curriculum Study Group to which you also refer, There can be no doubt that this unit 'is doing important work and that the extension of its functions must be wholly approved. However, certain doubts have been aroused within the teaching profession because many teachers feel that without direct participation in its urgent task of a small number of practising teachers. chosen from among both the primary and secondary sector, this Research Group cannot possibly do its best.

The Beloe Report recommended in paragraph 126 the establishment of a Research and Development Unit made up partly of members of HM Inspec-

torate and partly of highly qualified teachers. There can be no doubt that the inclusion in the Curriculum Study Group of a few active teachers of outstanding calibre could well contribute materially to whatever improvements may have to be made. The need for more active co-operation on basic

aspects of our educational structures between the Ministry of Education and the teachers and pioneers in the 'front line' is indeed urgent. The acceptance on the part of the authorities of the principle that those responsible for the moulding of the minds of our youth are entitled also to help shape policies affecting every teacher and pupil in the country would, I submit, have a marked beneficial effect on the day-to-day work in our schools. It is not just a question of reconstituting a group of key educational administrators so as to show teachers that anY accusation of undue centralisation is unwarranted. Let the Minister of Education acknowledge that only a combined effort within the Curriculum Study Group by educational administrators and serving teachers can and will bring about those improve- ments which we have long desired, but which, through lack of tangible support and co-ordination in prac- tical research and through insufficient use made of the advice of those best able to give it, have been delayed. We know that his corps of inspectors is a body of devoted, highly able and far-sighted men and women, in close touch with our schools. They must be aware of the dire need of a constant pool- ing of ideas, as well as the need for more active sup- port of creative and imaginative endeavour in the classroom.

E. ELEMINO 55 Golders Gardens. NW II