Letters extra: Why make it so hard for would-be teachers?

2nd March 2001 at 00:00

I am a mature student, aged 35, studying an Access to Teaching course. I have a good educational background and a vast amount of classroom experience as well as being a parent governor for both an infant and junior school.

I was encouraged to consider a teaching career by the head teacher of the school in which I worked. I have a high regard for the teaching profession and feel that the rewards a teaching career can offer are highly underrated and therefore decided to embark on a BA honours primary education with QTS.

As a parent governor I am fully aware of the increasing problem with regard to retaining and recruiting teachers. I listen and read, with great concern, the newspaper reports and articles regarding the crisis we seem to be facing in our schools today. With this in mind I naively anticipated that my decision to dedicate the next four years to my life to the aim of becoming a teacher, and ultimately filling one of the many teaching vacancies, would be greatly received by universities and other agencies concerned.

I was astounded to find that the only place in Essex I could embark on a BA honours primary education with QTS, was at Chelmsford. The distance in itself was a drawback but one which I was willing to overcome to achieve my aim. When I attended their open day I was informed that they only offer 89 training places per year.

The irony is that over 800 people apply for those few places. Why is it that we are having to offer financial enticements and recruit from overseas when we already have a vast amount of potential candidates just waiting to be given the opportunity of fulfilling their ambition.

Sharan Allsopp
11 Briarswood
Canvey Island
Essex SS8 9UD

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