Trust in teacher
JennI MURRAY asks when we started expecting teachers to be parents (Mail).
I would say, at least since the introduction of ‘pastoral care’ in secondary schools from 1972 to 1978 — the six years between me leaving school as a pupil and returning as a newly qualified teacher.
As a form tutor for 32 years, I dealt with issues ranging from my pupils getting into trouble with a colleague to advising them on where to turn for help following unprotected sex. I also acted as a go-between for them and their parents in serious matters.
Often I was told I was the only person a pupil could talk to about what was happening in their life. I cried many tears while attempting to navigate a difficult route between intervention and interference.
I know how deeply in loco parentis teachers sometimes have to be. JeANNeTTe MeyeRS,
TeACheRS are put under stress by being asked to do what should be the responsibility of parents.
Their job is to teach, not to provide toilet training, breakfast, clothes washing, moral training and welfare.
Yes, they act in loco parentis but there are limits. Perhaps some parents should go back to school.
ALAN STACKMAN, Calne, Wilts.