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Letters extra : Pension changes could be gross injustice

Sir,

In response to your article of 276, I would like to echo the general concern over proposed changes in pension provision. With recent and continuing demographic changes, I can understand the rationale for raising the retirement age for new entrants into the profession - providing the change is signaled at least three years before implementation (ie 2006). However, it would be a matter of gross injustice to introduce these changes to pension rights when teachers will have made important lifestyle and finacial decisons based on the terms of a pension signed at the point of
employment.

On a practical level,I am a very firm supporter of Tim Brighouse's London Challenge. Teachers working in challenging circumstances face a far higher rate of "burn-out" than colleagues in more stable working environments. London will not recruit and its children will not have the teachers it needs if these changes are allowed to go ahead. Moreover I know, by comments from many of my 20- to 30-year-old colleagues, that many will leave the profession if
these changes are introduced.

I hope you continue to campaign hard on this issue and have a similar impact
to your campaigns on assessment and creativity in the primary curriculum.

Michael O'Leary
Deputy Head
The Compton School
Barnet

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