Chucked onto the scrapheap by ageism

6th January 2006 at 00:00
I have been teaching for well over 20 years and have a huge amount of experience. Due to frequent moves I have been unable to secure a permanent teaching position since I came to London five years ago.

I've got by on short or fixed-term contracts, and supply work. I get so discouraged at applying for every job within reasonable travelling distance, and then never hearing another word.

I know why. It became clear last July when I applied for the job I had been doing on a temporary contract. Another colleague was also leaving so there were two posts available. Guess what? Both positions went to newly-qualified teachers!

I made one mistake at interview, due to nerves, but I think I had proved to the school and the department that I was reliable, hard-working and all those other essential attributes.

It all boils down to money. NQTs cost pound;8,000 a year less than I do.

Obviously no school will admit that it discriminates in that way, but they do.

I'm angry at being cast upon the scrap heap. I may be 59 years old but I have a fair few working years left in me. It seems that experience counts for nothing any more.

Rosemary E Graham 150 Farrant Avenue Wood Green London N22

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