I NOTE your report on Scots teachers being investigated for coaching ("Exam cheat probe into coaching by record number of teachers", The Herald, August 9). Having been a school teacher both in Scotland and Australia, I suggest this situation says much more about a badly flawed system than it does about teachers and their desire to support pupils while dealing with an increasing and hideous workload, and unrealistic expectations that most of their pupils will "make the grade". Education these days is a business – higher secondary grades mean kudos for the school and more pupils entering university and, be in no doubt, universities are places of business more than education.

Most teachers have their pupils’ interests at heart but when we layer that with external pressure for teachers to also "pass the test", we create a pressure cooker with the teacher in the centre. Why do we then persecute those teachers who try to find a balance?

Why on earth do we think teachers are above human frailty? To err is human. To be a teacher is to be superhuman.

Until we give due recognition, professionally, emotionally and financially, to teachers, we will see an increasing leave rate with most graduate teachers seeing teaching as a stepping stone from an easy-entry university course through a few years in the pressure cooker classroom to a more appreciated and lucrative career. And we will have a teaching profession not based on experience and pedagogical wealth of knowledge but on uninspired university graduates with no interest in long-term careers … and that doesn’t bode well for future generations does it?

Delia Forrest,

9/29 George Street, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.