Your article by Malcolm Wicks "Bright future will give teachers real rewards" caught my attention as I am a teacher in further education. At present, FE teachers earn pound;4-6,000 a year less than schoolteachers, do 20 per cent more contact teaching and have only 35 days annual holiday compared with a teachers' 60. I am not suggesting that teachers are underworked as I am married to a secondary teacher.
Mr Wicks says we "can expect ... increases of up to pound;2,000" by 2003-4. This is not really very encouraging. If schoolteachers do not receive any extra money in the next three years FE teachers will be paid only pound;2,000 a year less. Workload and holiday are not addressed. What this means is that no young teacher in their right mind will take a job in FE. Students who can stay in school will, very sensibly, do so and those (our lifelong learners) who cannot, will have to accept the modern equivalent of Dotheboys Hall. Neil Phillips Bognor, West Sussex