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Gulf jobs

As head of a school in the Gulf, although not in Saudi Arabia, I was interested in the account by George Mansur of his interview for a post in Saudi (Talkback, TES, September 29). I do not understand, however, why he feels aggrieved.

It is clear from his account that the interviewers were scrupulous in ensuring that he was familiar with the conditions of service at the school, allowing him an hour to read and consider them before resuming the interview. It is also clear that he had not taken the trouble to inform himself about Saudi Arabia or he would have known that some of the conditions he quotes apply to all expatriate employees in the kingdom.

Having read these conditions he decided that they were unacceptable and behaved honourably in refusing the post which was offered to him. The interviewers had behaved equally honourably by making the conditions of service known to him before offering him the job.

He is, of course, right in saying that "anyone tempted to accept apparently well-paid posts overseas should consider the implications with great care".

I would go further and say that anyone applying for teaching posts in any school in any country should make sure that he or she is as fully informed as possible before accepting a post.

In case of possible misunderstanding I should make clear that I do not know the name of the school in question and that conditions of service such as he describes do not apply in many schools in the Gulf, including my own.

VALERIE M REID Headteacher Latifa School for Girls United Arab Emirates

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