Letters Extra: Charles and his fish

31st January 2003 at 00:00

Each week The TES is publishing bigger and bigger supplements, due to the growing number of teachers' post remaining unfilled; there are daily news reports of the stresses and strains of classroom life, and teachers leaving their jobs because of them, as well as students choosing not to become teachers because of the pay level.

And Charles Clarke, our illustrious Education Secretary, decides to freeze our pay for the next three years! Meanwhile, he decides to raise the pay of classroom assistants beyond the level of those of many experienced teachers.

What is he thinking of? Doesn't he envisage, and realise, the terrible resentment this will cause? Of course, classroom assistants should receive fair pay for the job they do, but at what risk if Mr Clarke's proposals are accepted?

Some of my colleagues have said they would seriously consider leaving teaching if that happened and they could become assistants with no planning, preparing or work after 3 pm!

On the same day (January 17) an annoucement was made about unskilled workers on the new Heathrow extension who may receive pound;32,000 as an incentive. Mr Clarke's announcement was like a smack in the face with a wet fish, and such an insult!

D C Bell (Mrs)
St James Close

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today