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Maturity beats mollycoddling

How interesting to read the article detailing research into the experiences of mature female entrants to teaching (TES, July 18). I am shortly to enter my final year of a four-year BA (Hon) QTS course and found myself reading and saying "Yes, yes, yes!"

From the total unsuitability of the course for mature entrants, to the discounting of life experience and the skills to match, I for one shall be pleased to finish the course and do the job I have given up so much to train for.

The courses are clearly designed for much younger entrants and it is true that tutors tend to assume anyone over a certain age must have lots in common with all their peers - when the reverse is often true.

Some of the more immature students resent a replica of their mother sitting next to them, and they are cajoled and mollycoddled through the years in a way which is totally inappropriate for an older mother of three such as myself.

Nothing can replace the many years of varied experiences that many mature entrants have, while hanging around waiting for the majority of the rest of the students to grow up can be a frustrating process. Let's hope that I do not find the negativity mentioned in the article when I apply for jobs later this year.


2 Monsal Dale North Hykeham, Lincolnshire

* Letters should be kept as brief as possible. They should be sent to The Editor, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY Fax: 0171 782 3200e-mail:

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