Misleading advert banned

A teacher recruitment advert has been banned for misleadingly suggesting that newly qualified teachers can earn a salary of pound;34,000.

The television advert by the Training and Development Agency for Schools showed a young-looking teacher being teased by a pupil about his football team, while a voiceover stated: "You could earn 34 grand a year."

The Advertising Standards Authority said it was misleading and breached the advertising code because the teacher's "very youthful appearance" suggested he was new to teaching.

Most new teachers starting work this September can expect to earn pound;20,133, while those in inner-London are being offered pound;24,168.

The TDA said it was disappointed by the ruling, as a third of teachers earned more than pound;35,000 after five years in the profession.

Graham Holley, its chief executive, said: "Millions of viewers have seen this advert. There have only been a tiny number of complaints - two people contacted the ASA.

"We are disappointed by the verdict and do not believe we have misled our audience in any way."

The TDA plan to air the advert with a new voiceover in September.

Wendy Blythe, a Devon primary teacher, said that adverts for teaching should not focus on the money or idealistic visions of schools. "They should do what the police and army do and present the job as a real challenge, with a degree of heroism perhaps," she said.

It is not the first time the TDA's "Use Your Head. Teach" campaign has attracted complaints. The first advert in 2004, which showed headless bodies walking to work, sparked 83 official complaints, with some saying it was insensitive after beheadings in Iraq.

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