Enjoying life as a caretaker

26th January 2001 at 00:00
Roger Butterfield's tale (far right) is a cautionary one for those trying to recruit and hang on to teachers. We examine their tactics and the state of the staffing crisis

THREE years after turning his back on a 23-year teaching career to become a caretaker, former head Roger Butterfield (pictured on the front page) has no regrets.

Since leaving Grindleford primary in Derbyshire, he has seen around half the 10 heads from neighbouring schools leave the profession too.

"The story is the same: there's far too much to do. I do wonder at the ability of the system to replace competent people at that rate," he says.

While the ecruitment crisis worries him, he feels no obligation to return to a 60-hour week, a precarious budget, and combining management and teaching responsibilities.

"I feel I have given what I could. If the thing doesn't work, it's the Government, not me, that is under the moral obligation to make it work."

Now 51, he earns pound;12,000 a year for a four-day week as site manager at Hope Valley College, a comprehensive that is a five-minutes bike ride from home. "The hours are not regular, but they are limited. When I left teaching, I held open the possibility of going back, but I can't say it attracts me at the moment," he says.

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