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The job for a rewarding life

I am writing in response to the somewhat disconcerting article on the attitudes of young teachers to a career in teaching (TES, September 3).

Changing jobs has become common over recent years and trends and attitudes towards employment have drastically changed. However, we must remember that career "switching" is also a two-way process.

An article in the Observer headlined "Teaching turns into a classy career at last" (April 11, 2004) revealed that a record number of people began training to be teachers in the last school year and that the job has jumped from 100th place to first in a league table of the most popular career swaps.

Having been fortunate enough to have met a number of inspiring young teachers who fully engage with their pupils and create a wonderful learning environment, I believe that importance not only needs to be placed on recruiting, but also on retaining young teachers.

I would argue that this is the great challenge for the future. Teaching can be a challenging and exciting career for life. One of the keys to retention is ensuring teachers have access to continuing professional development that is not just found in Government policy, but is about personal refreshment and fulfilment.

Let us hope that the talented young entrants to the profession who no longer view teaching as a job for life, experience and understand the important role they play in children' s lives before switching to a less rewarding, less motivating career.

David Hanson Chief executive officer Teaching Awards Trust 4th Floor 6 Middle Street London EC1

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