Letters extra: crocodile tears

7th September 2001 at 01:00

So Estelle Morris (Radio 4's Today programme,nbsp;September 1) expresses tear-jerking admiration of teachers, does she?

If her predecessor and the rest of New Labour had been at all serious, they might have provided teachers with a decent salary years ago.

I am a retired teacher, although still working as an examiner and examination inspector. Last year, I also taught part-time on a regula supply and applied for the threshold assessment. I liked the work and was good at it, my colleagues told me. I mistakenly thought the threshold was a means by which able teachers would be fairly accredited, which I welcomed, in principle.

However, for weeks beforehand, word was that it would be very difficult for supply and part-time staff to gain a threshold award and indeed, I failed to do so, thanks to an assessor whose pettyfogging exception to one minor part of my application form (downloaded from the official website) was that it was unclearnbsp;to him.

This decision was despite a most generous level of support from the head.

So, humiliated and embarrassed, I left the job.

However, I appealed. My head stuck by his original assessment of my work and a year later I won. And this, fornbsp;pro-rata of pound;2,000 a year.

Right, Ms Morris, so you need experienced, well qualified, up-to-date teachers, who can keep discipline and contribute to the overall school ethos, do you?

When you've got your act together, give me a ring. Until then, forget it - you'll just have to make do with imports and the recruitment of unqualified, inexperienced people.

(name and address supplied)nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;

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