COMMENT: Want to know what’s best in the classroom? Ask a teacher

Oxford Mail: . .

MARY Stevens should be applauded for taking a stand against changes to the curriculum.

Passionate and driven, she has refused to lie down and accept American literature be removed from the set texts for children.

And she should know, given she is on the front line in the classroom seeing the progress of her students.

That no teachers were consulted over this move is extraordinary.

They are the ones who know what their students respond to and take interest in.

And they are the ones who will have to implement any changes, continuing to inspire pupils to read in light of a changing landscape.

It is all too easy for politicians to sit in Westminster, far removed from the day-to-day business – and challenges – in schools across the country and pontificate about what needs to be done.

It was a similar story with Nick Clegg’s free school meals plan. That was great on paper but a nightmare in practice, when it was realised there weren’t the school kitchens, staffing and resources to make it happen.

As someone who has never taught, surely Michael Gove needs to have a network of advisors with in-depth knowledge and experience of the education sector to help shape policy? It cannot be done on a whim.

Otherwise he will continually face the inevitable backlash when controversial changes are made.

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