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Recruitment gets tougher

When a South Wales school advertised for a new deputy head last year it attracted only half as many applicants as it had for the same post five years ago.

Headteacher Geoffrey is convinced that the dismal pay increases are to blame. He believes the best academics are shying away from teaching in favour of careers in industry and commerce because of the derisory salaries on offer.

"In some subjects it is impossible to recruit. So many people are disenchanted with the profession and are drifting away."

He feels equally miserable about the prospects for his existing staff. In the last year they have spent an enormous amount of time and effort working to boost the school's results. Parents' evenings once a month, homework clubs and revision weekends have all forced teachers to work many hours outside the school timetable yet they don't get paid overtime.

Geoffrey believes his teachers feel undervalued and is tormented by how to remedy the situation. Although he does not complain about his own package - Pounds 48,666 at point 42 of the pay spine - he is losing Pounds 73 a month through the phased pay increases. He has two children with aspirations to go to university and he will soon be paying their fees.

"This is not a sweet review when it comes in tandem with fee-paying universities."

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