Fare's fare when it comes to jobs

17th May 1996 at 01:00
A teacher in our school recently returned from an unsuccessful interview for a post in a state school elsewhere. We were pleased not to be losing a valued colleague, but I was appalled to be informed that travelling expenses were not paid and to be told by the bursar that the school did not pay any interview expenses to applicants for jobs.

I checked with the Secondary Heads Association and the National Union of Teachers and neither organisation seemed very interested. SHA told me that there are growing numbers of schools which don't pay interview expenses. This is new to me in 25 years' experience. All the schools I have worked in have paid expenses.

Professional etiquette demands proper standards of conduct on behalf of schools seeking to fill posts. Travelling and subsistence should be paid to candidates who are invited for interview.

I feel particularly concerned for young applicants seeking their first posts who are increasingly likely to be burdened with debt as a result of their university courses. It is exploitation not to reimburse what for many will be significant costs.

How can we claim to be a profession at all if we allow such shoddy treatment of our colleagues? I would like to see a code of practice agreed between all the professional associations and names of schools which fail to comply circulated.

ROGER TITCOMBE

Headteacher

The Alfred Barrow school

Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

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