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Long-term rises

The Observer: Weary of his notoriously dexterous footwork when making funding announcements, we are understandably sceptical when Education Secretary David Blunkett attempts to explain away the crisis in teacher recruitment.

It was under Labour in the Seventies that teacher-training rolls were first slashd. At that time, there were 80,000 applications for 50,000 training places.

Mr Chips and Miss Jean Brodie were on O-level reading lists. Now schools are warning of a recruitment meltdown, and the only role model is Lenny Henry playing headmaster Ian George in BBC1's Hope and Glory.

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