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