IDID not, in my article on 2the history of the Catholic Teacher s' Federation, December 30, state, as Mr. J. H. Widdowson appears to suggest, January 13, "that the C.T.F. has efficiently organised Catholic teachers." I set down the facts—and let . the facts speak for themselves.
There are 87 member associations of the C.T.F. and the questions he asked could receive 87 different answers. However, let me answer some of them to a certain extent.
1 The C.T.F. is concerned Ali about recruiting young Catholic teachers. It has links with some (but not all) Catholic colleges of education and links with the A.C.T.S. As an example of the kind of things being done, the 1,000-strong Metropolitan Catholic Teachers' Association held a welcome party for new teachers last year.
2The future career of any 1•• young teacher is bound up with the future careers of all his colleagues, young and old, and it is only in this context that the C.T.F. can be concerned with it. The C.T.F. has always, of course, been concerned with the rights of Catholic teachers.
2 How does it present help V• to teachers in nonCatholic schools? Its concern about them was expressed in a resolution at the 1965 annual conference and efforts to assist them materially are under review; but providing assistance on a national scale is a vast undertaking.
4I am not sure what the
• term "lapsed in respect of religious teaching" means but as far as introducing teachers to modern methods of teaching Religion is concerned a national conference was held at Hopwood Hall last Low Week and a variety of short courses and one-day conferences have been held and are being held by local associations.
5 By its very existence, the %I* C.T.F. provides Catholic teachers with the Opportunity of coming together "as true Christians and united brothers in Christ."
Mr. Widdowson is, of course, wrong in stating that there are two types of teacher (a) those too busy to join any more associations and (b) those who are indifferent. There are probably many more types and at the very least a third type —those who join and support the C.T.F.
It is true that the membership of the C.T.F. might be higher. It has some 8,000 members representing about one-third of the teachers teaching in Catholic schools— a calculation which mathematically ignores the Catholic teachers in non-Catholic schools. On the other hand, it cannot be gainsaid that Catholic teachers need a national organisation for a wide variety of reasons. It is to be hoped that Mr. Widdowson's experience "with one Catholic teachers' organisation" poorly supported will not deter him from aligning himself with one of the local associations of the C.T.F.
Robert J. Hoare South Ascot, Berks.
YOUR correspondent Mr. Widdowson asks many questions about the Catholic Teachers Federation, the last of which is 'How does it help to bring Catholic teachers together as true Christians and united brothers in Christ?' I would reply by asking him the same question but this time 'it' would refer to his letter and not the Federation.
I would suggest, in the same spirit, that the best thing he can do is to get in and do something to this end.
Ald. C. H. Shell, K.S.G., Hon. Sec. C.T.F. Hendon