Exile in outer space is the only possible excuse;Letter

5th June 1998 at 01:00
Iain Mathieson (Letters, May 22) could be forgiven his erroneous and inflammatory opinions had he been domiciled in outer space for the last 20 years.

During this period teachers' pay and conditions have not improved by any criteria. To restore pay to the Main inquiry levels of 1987 would require a straight 15 per cent increase (40 per cent if you go back to the Houghton report of the 70s).

Ever-burgeoning initiatives are expected to be implemented in the face of year-on-year financial cuts. A week of 50-plus hours shows little signs of abating.

Worrying poll evidence suggests that teenagers (particularly males) dismiss teaching as a career altogether. These points wouldn't have anything to do with the foregoing, would they, Mr Mathieson?

He might like to cast his "socio-economic realism" across the water to Europe. He may well get a shock were he to compare the lot of teachers here with that of our European colleagues.

Paul Walsh Hamilton Place, Aberdeen

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