Innocents need experience

18th May 2001 at 01:00
Kevin Satchwell of Thomas Telford School cannot find a maths teacher ("Even top performer feels desperate", TES, May 4). But he says: "Ten years ago I had a hundred applicants. Now I am lucky to get 10." So he can find 10. This head is in need of a maths teacher himself if he thinks 10 equals zero.

It turns out that these 10 will be "people who do not have enough experience". But at the same time he says: "We need to make it simpler to recruit and train teachers." By definition, however, these new recruits will not have enough experience.

Mr Satchwell's is the tradtional whinge of British industry. He wants experienced people but does not want to offer experience. He wants them fully functional on day one.

Ease these people in gently, give them respect for having offered to take on a difficult job. Good administration is about working with human beings as they are. There is no point in dreaming of superhumans, then complaining when a mere 10 mortals apply.

It is a sign of extreme bad manners to those who do apply to suggest that they are in some way inferior.

Dave Nicholson 21 Albert Street Windsor, Berkshire

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