Alienated by loan demands

19th November 2004 at 00:00
I am a full-time science teacher, graduating in 1998 as a mature student having accrued three years of undergraduate loans. In 19992000, I undertook a post-graduate certificate in education and have been teaching science continuously since September 2000.

Since that time I have been repaying my PGCE loan and this year have commenced paying back the mortgage-style undergraduate loan (due to having being under the earnings threshold until now).

Unfortunately, my latest move up the pay spine has in fact seriously reduced my income.

The loan repayments together are pound;204.27 per month, making me worse off than science teaching colleagues two years my junior (effectively, two points down the pay spine). I do not resent my junior colleagues having been paid through their PGCEs, nor begrudge their pound;6,000 "golden hellos" and am pleased they have had their undergraduate loans paid off.

However, in the circumstances, the insistence that I should repay the loans adds insult to injury.

While I appreciate that attracting science graduates to teaching is of paramount importance, alienating a small yet significant proportion of now experienced staff is counterproductive.

John SKelley

6 Eastcott Close

Congleton, Cheshire

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