Back in 1990, John Major promised to replace the teacher with the battered sedan and the grimy house with one who lived in a smart house and drove a good car. Eleven years on, and with an "education" Labour prime minister, we are still waiting for radical improvements in pay, status and living conditions. With spiralling house prices, many young teachers are in an even worse position than those starting a decade ago.
This is more than just an image problem. But image, too is important to a profession's self-esteem and attractiveness. How should our readers regard themselves? As Nissan Micra drivers, or as target-driven executives aspiring to a Porsche (page 5)? Many would be happy with a car with a large boot (for the marking), a roof-rack (for the mountain bikes) and a tow-bar for the holiday caravan. A Rover 75 perhaps? Dream on.