Letters extra: egalite?

27th April 2001 at 01:00

Anne-Lise Ortu bemoans the fact that she is barred from training to teach modern languages as she does not have a grade C at GCSE in English and maths.

It may not have occurred to her that the lack of compatibility between English and French qualifications cuts both ways. The French education system discriminates outrageously against British citizens wishing to teach English in their schools. A qualified British teacher with substantial experience can enter only at the lowest, most poorly-paid level, and must take the Capes examination if they wish to progress any further.

Even then, they are posted wherever the whim of the ministry sees fit. On the other hand, a teacher of French nationality with similar experience wishing to teach here needs only to apply for a post advertised in this newpaper - and, given the present shortage of modern languages teachers, stands a very good chance of being successful. I applaud Ms Ortu's wish for British and European qualifications to be treated equally - on both sides of the Channel.

Nick Tranter
Knighton, Powys

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