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Millennium exodus

Authorities face a "millennium timebomb" because of the number of staff in their 40s and 50s who will retire over the next decade, George Gardner, depute director of education in Glasgow, says. The age range covers half the teachers in Scotland.

Douglas Weir, dean of education at Strathclyde University, warned that the pressures would mount five years from now. "We have to start training now and we are going to have to find new markets. I am not comfortable with the national pattern," Professor Weir said.

Ironically, tighter academic entry qualifications imposed by the General Teaching Council might prevent up to 25 per cent of graduates from applying. "There will be a bit of a hiccup in 2000," Professor Weir said.

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