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You can’t put a value on a wealth of experience

In years gone by, teachers used to stay at one school for life – but these days long-serving staff are being driven out, says Jo Brighouse

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“How long have you been doing supply for?” I asked the cover teacher as I filled her in on the delights of the afternoon that awaited her.

“Just a few weeks,” she said. “I left my school at the end of last term after 25 years. I thought I’d be there until I retired but the new head made it impossible.”

It wasn’t the first time I’d heard a story like this, and it’s a terrific waste. Within the close-knit community of a primary, longserving staff can make an impact that is incalculably valuable.

It made me think of my own primary school and Miss O’Rourke, who joined the staff straight out of ...

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