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Age has a price;Employment law

A new code of conduct to tackle age discrimination will do little to solve the problems older teachers face when applying for jobs, according to the National Association of Head Teachers. "Most of our members would prefer to take on more experienced teachers, but they can't afford to do so if their school's budget is tight," says Kerry George, an assistant secretary of the association.

Arguing that blatant ageism is rare in education, Ms George says that greater use of job sharing and other forms of flexible working would do more to open up opportunities for older teachers than the Government's code of practice.

Employers are not obliged to follow the code, which is designed to encourage them to recruit, train and promote the best person for each job regardless of age. But if evidence that the code has been flouted is accepted in unfair dismissal cases, it could become much harder for employers to sack older workers unfairly or target them for redundancy.

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