Don't knock the experts

Your leader (3 September) makes derogatory remarks about the role of advisers and other educational "experts" who, in your view, would be better employed in teaching the children themselves than in advising others.

In fact, many of these experts are teachers with additional specialist qualifications whose role is to support the inclusion in mainstream schools of pupils who are deaf or who have other special needs. Their presence is essential in ensuring that these children are able to achieve their potential within a mainstream environment.

Paul Simpson
High Wycombe, Bucks

Your statement that teachers cannot receive high pay because there are too many of them is reactionary. The billions poured into the Dome, Trident and the pockets of undeserving business bosses, pop singers and football, tennis and golf players would cover a hefty rise for all teachers.

Might I suggest you send someone to Cuba to see how a poor, beleaguered socialist country, savagely oppressed by the United States, contrives to have an education system that is superior to anything in Britain or the US, and even, for example, enables Cuba to send well-trained doctors to help out in Africa. Your emissary should visit the 23 July School in Havana, once Batista's Moncada barracks, complete with designer bullet holes in the wall, the evidence of Castro's quixotic initial attack on it. Compared with many schools in Britain, it is a scene of enthusiastic learning, fun and happiness, and it is all totally free, from primary to PhD.

Andrew Lockhart Walker
Dollar, Clackmannanshire

This article first appeared in the 10 September 2001 issue of the New Statesman, The New Statesman Essay - The love of a robot