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Letters extra: Why make it so hard for would-be teachers?

I am a mature student, aged 35, studying an Access to Teaching course. I have a good educational background and a vast amount of classroom experience as well as being a parent governor for both an infant and junior school.

I was encouraged to consider a teaching career by the head teacher of the school in which I worked. I have a high regard for the teaching profession and feel that the rewards a teaching career can offer are highly underrated and therefore decided to embark on a BA honours primary education with QTS. As a parent governor I am fully aware of the increasing problem with regard to retaining and recruiting teachers. I listen and read, with great concern, the newspaper reports and articles regarding the crisis we seem to be facing in our schools today. With this in mind I naively anticipated that my decision to dedicate the next four years to my life to the aim of becoming a teacher, and ultimately filling one of the many teaching vacancies, would be greatly received by universities and other agencies concerned. I was astounded to find that the only place in Essex I could embark on a BA honours primary education with QTS, was at Chelmsford. The distance in itself was a drawback but one which I was willing to overcome to achieve my aim. When I attended their open day I was informed that they only offer 89 training places per year.

The irony is that over 800 people apply for those few places. Why is it that we are having to offer financial enticements and recruit from overseas when we already have a vast amount of potential candidates just waiting to be given the opportunity of fulfilling their ambition.

Sharan Allsopp 11 Briarswood Canvey Island Essex SS8 9UD

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