A RECENT headline in The Times quoted Tristram Hunt as saying that teachers have to improve and if they don’t they will be sacked.

His remedy to what he obviously considers a failing in educational provision is to licence teachers; that licence to be renewed every five years. Mr Hunt has not been in post for long, has probably never set foot inside a classroom, is from an elitist, privately educated background and probably is unaware of what already exists to maintain decent standards of teaching in our state schools.

The appointment of Mr Hunt as Labour spokesman for Education is a disastrous mistake, particularly as he appears to be joining Michael Gove in a crusade against teachers, trying perhaps to outdo Gove in his denigration of the profession.

If what he has in mind is a more authoritarian and bureaucratic system than we have under a Conservative government, perhaps he should move over to the other side.

Trudie Elliott, Hopgrove Lane North, York.