Fit for humans now? Looking for a job in... Slough

20th October 2000 at 01:00
As in "come friendly bombs and fall?"

On Slough. Yes, the poor old place is still trying to live down being lampooned by poet John Betjeman in the Thirties - "but we don't talk about that", says the local education authority.

Personally I blame John Bunyan for starting it ("the name of the slough was Despond"). Those who live there like it though.

Go on then - sell it to me

For a start there are lots of teaching jobs. Last month Beechwood comprehensive introduced a four-day week for pupils because of a chronic teacher shortage.

Slough is a relatively small unitary authority, in line to be Ofsteded next year. It has 11 secondary, 31 primary, five nursery and two special schools. There are vacancies right across the board. See the website - www.sloughed.org.uk for a list.

Slough also has an education action zone, and runs a good induction programme for newly-qualified teachers. Attainment levels at key stage 1 and 2 and at GCSE are above average.

And at the end of the school day?

Slough is a culturally diverse town, with a big multi-ethnic population. It has two big indoor shopping centres and good sports facilities. Its night-life is also livly, insists LEA spokeswoman Kate Pratt. "There's plenty to do - it's not boring at all."

It's near beauty spots such as Burnham Beeches and the Chilterns, and attractions like Windsor Castle and Legoland. It's also handy for London - 20 minutes by rail.

Unaffordable housing?

Not what you might call cheap. A three-bed semi starts at around pound;120,000 in the town, going up to pound;230,000 in outlying villages like Langley or Burnham. To rent a three-bed semi, expect to pay around pound;650 per month, or pound;500 a month for a one-bedroom flat.

I'm still not sure

OK - this will convince you. The LEA has marshalled some little-known facts about Slough. Did you know that it had the first-ever Belisha beacon? And the first zebra crossing?

Please, no more!

And it was the site of Europe's first-ever industrial estate. And radar was developed in Slough during the Second World War.

Please?

Astronomer Royal Sir William Herschel lived and worked here. He discovered the planet Uranus.

I give in. Any other famous sonsdaughters?

The Tracey brothers and Lady Penelope. Thunderbirds was filmed in Slough.

I said I give in

Martin Whittaker


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