Fees story based on 'biased data'

26th April 1996 at 01:00
You report an accusation that the chief inspector gave a biased representation of statistics on last week's front page and then go on to commit exactly that sin yourselves in the story "Inspection firm offers 'fabulous money'" (TES, April 19).

You compare a primary headteacher on a permanent contract in a steady job with an index-linked state pension to what is probably a self-employed person running a business with overheads with no job security and an uncertain future and who will spend most of his time living away from home in a hotel.

Your source is a company wanting to market itself ("this is a really good job opportunity - fabulous money") and a teaching union ("teachers are so badly paid"). The Office for Standards in Education gets about two lines and there is no comment from the real people who know - freelance inspectors.

To give you another interpretation, I am a self-employed educational consultant. The normal rate for leading an inspection team in the secondary sector is between Pounds 4,000 and Pounds 4,500 which so far is about the worst paid work I do, considering what is involved. My daily rates to schools are less than the amounts charged by most local education authorities and in my field I am probably a lot more experienced and knowledgeable than most.

I was a teacher and any teacher can do the same as I have done if they think it is a better life. It is at times like these that I think all teachers should be like me, self-employed, on individually negotiable contracts.

IAN LYNCH

Ian Lynch and Co

ian@ianlynch.demon.co.uk

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