Letters extra: why morale is so low

10th August 2001 at 01:00

It's no wonder teachers are leaving in droves and recruitment is at an all time low when they are treated with such little respect and consideration. I know of a school locally, which had an excellent reputation. Parents were keen to get their children into it and teachers would scan the vacancy pages of the paper, desperate to get a position there. That was four years ago.

Now, under new management, morale is at an all time low. Putting groups of people who have no educational training or understanding in charge of schools is nonsensical.

Recently I heard of one teacher who had a holiday booked for their family by the grandparents, but a mistake was made about the term dates. The teacher was refused two days' unpaid leave and the holiday had to be cancelled at considerable expense. One would hardly blame that teacher for seeking alternative employment. Everyone has the right to be treated fairly and with understanding. Surely a little bit of leniency can be shown under circumstances which are the exception rather than the rule?

You may think all this is only so much whingeing, considering all the holiday teachers get. I know many teachers and none of them woudl knowingly book holidays during term time. They are a dedicated bunch who are genuinely fond of the children they work for.

The Fifties work ethic, when bosses ruled dictatorially, is no longer appropriate. Management has to realise that to get the best out of their workers they have to show them they are valued.

Sarah Woodcock

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