Those in the maintained state sector in schools should not feel smug about this trend. A starting salary of Pounds 12,000 and part-time rates of about Pounds 8 per hour or less for lecturers is now common and existing staff who have not moved to new contracts have had no pay increase for about four years. New contracts usually mean reduction to four to six weeks annual holiday, 30 hours (minimum) teaching and other conditions which belong more to Victorian times than today.
This will ultimately reflect in the cost of providing courses and will make them cheaper to staff than in schools. While this may not appear to present a problem for statutory school-age education, let me remind readers that in March The TES carried an article giving details of possible recommendations of Sir Ron Dearing which suggested transfer of large chunks of work done in secondary schools from 14 to 16 to the further education college sector.
JOHN PALFREYMAN 22 Furlong Drive Tean Stoke on Trent