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Glimpses of post-war teaching

YOUR millennium edition was a fascinating resume. May I add a brief postscript?

Due to a shortage of teachers post-war, the government introduced an emergency teacher-training scheme in 1948. I enrolled and after 13 months intensive training, gained my teaching certificate and plunged in immediately.

My first class, 41 jolly six-year-olds, I took on with no help, as ancillary staff had not yet been invented and parents were not allowed beyond the school gate.

My annual salary was pound;405 (which included three increments) plus pound;25 London allowance.

Staff would stay on most fternoons in order to whitewash (literally) newspapers to provide painting paper for the next day. There was some in-service training held after school, for which teachers paid one shilling, and, of course, their own travelling expenses.

After 13 years I was appointed head of a school in London and stayed on until retirement in 1977.

Only then did I find time to study for my doctorate, based on my experiences with the primary children. I feel very privileged to have worked in education during those years.

Dr Julia Matthews

50 Sydney Road

Bexleyheath, Kent

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