Lack of jobs a 'bitter' pill for probationers to swallow

4th September 2009 at 01:00

I was interested to read reports on the growth in unemployment for newly-qualified teachers.

All of them have worked hard and invested a great deal of time and effort in their probationary year. They do not work from 9am to 4pm but have to spend time preparing and marking classwork. My daughter has just completed her probationary year and was in class before 8am every day and often worked until late evening.

To complete the probationary year with no prospective post, whether temporary or permanent, is demoralising and demotivating. Meantime, there are teachers desperate to retire but who cannot get the right package in terms of their pensions.

When can these young teachers get the work for which they have been trained? They are enthusiastic and highly motivated, but will soon become disenchanted and bitter. Officials state that the unemployment rate drops during the year as posts become available. But still they have to pay rent, council tax and so on, with no income other than sporadic supply teaching or unemployment benefit.

Our politicians must correct this as a matter of priority, for the children's sake.

John A Milne, Westgate, Leslie, Fife.

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