Deflated after a life of dedication

8th December 2006 at 00:00
I read the front page article ("Thousands take pay cut", November 24) with sadness. It rekindled my feelings of anger and distress at my own position.

Being appointed to the position of Advanced Skills TeacherManager of Teaching and Learning at my present school was a delight and an honour. To me, as a committed practitioner of classroom teaching and learning, this was the best recognition possible. In my previous post, as a head of mathematics, my main sphere of influence had been within the subject team, inside one school. Now, I was to be afforded the opportunity and privilege to share good practice outside the school. How wrong this has turned out to be.

My permanent contract and AST title seem to mean nothing under the teaching and learning responsibility structure. Nor, apparently, do my excellent performance management reviews, Ofsted-rated lessons and messages of support from other schools within the local authority.

Now I have no status or title, and a much reduced level of professional worth. In terms of salary, I will be experiencing a substantial drop when safeguarding comes to an end. And I am unable to work with less fortunate schools, sharing good practice. Whatever happened to equality of opportunity and the importance of education for all students regardless of background? This is all about reducing budget and nothing to do with improving teaching and learning.

As I come towards the end of my career, my chances of gaining other employment remain slim, despite the Government's anti-ageist policy. I am likely to leave the profession deflated rather than elated, and earlier than I expected.

Ann Moore

Stocksfield Northumberland

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