Money will not lessen the load

I AM writing in response to the article about heads backing higher pay in shortage subjects (TES, August 16).

As a soon-to-be postgraduate certificate in education student of science and physics, I am delighted that the Government is offering higher wages and "golden hellos" to teachers of shortage subjects, such as myself. But these rewards are only a short-term solution to a long-term and much more widespread problem.

It seems to be a good example of the Government throwing money at a problem and hoping it will go away, rather than dealing with what is actually stopping people from wanting to become teachers. Of all the things worrying me the most about teaching, it is the workload. I cannot deny that the prospect of better pay does help, but it certainly will not do as much good as removing some of the unnecessary paperwork, which, coincidentally, a few teachers I know laugh about as if trying to convince themselves that it is all one big joke. I agree with Eamonn O'Kane's comments in this respect, that "the best way to boost recruitment would be to tackle problems such as workload and discipline".

I also agree with Trish Gallagher that this is unfair to those in core subjects such as English, and is quite demoralising. From a purely practical point of view, it is good for science and maths teachers as it gives an extra incentive to stay in teaching and not go into industry where much larger wages can be reaped. However this is, again, only a short-term solution.

A serious rethink of what is happening in teaching as a profession, rather than recruitment, should be considered by the Government. After all, I have promised myself that if I do not enjoy teaching after a few years I am going to leave until it is better, or for good if something is not done soon.

Tim Smardon 65, Farley Close Little Stoke, Bristol

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