I qualified to teach maths last year and have just completed my newly-qualified teacher (NQT) year. "Great for you," Laura might say, "you are about to get pound;4,000 as the second part of the incentive to teach a shortage subject." Wrong. I did a two-year BA Hons in secondary education with qualified teacher status (QTS). This course was run alongside the two-year PGCE, and the only difference in the day-to-day running of the course was the wording on the certificates we got at the end. But money-wise, myself and the other two mature students on my course were considerably worse off. The PGCE students came under the "old" system, so still got a grant. They got the Government's first incentive of pound;2,500, pound;1,250 in the first year and pound;1,250 in the second. Then they also got the pound;6,000 training salary in the second year. What about me? I gave up a reasonably paid job as a statistician, spent over pound;10,000 of my savings and borrowed over pound;15,000 more. All this for a job I love and have always wanted to do.
So Laura, and those who think all shortage subject teachers are better off than you, think again. Those of us who chose to do the BABSc option are considerably worse off than you.
Jennifer Lion 25 Grenada Drive, Whitley Lodge Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear