Letters extra: why teachers leave mid-career

5th October 2001 at 01:00

I gnashed my teeth to read, yet again, that mid-career teachers earn considerably less than other professionals ("Simple solution to staff shortage" September 28).

That may indeed be the case, but I knew when I left my head of department job and pound;28K salary two years ago that I would never earn that much again. Thirty and forty something former teachers are not much in demand, frankly, especially here in the south west where few jobs seem to attract more than pound;12,000 a year, and those that do call for the kind of technical and business skills few teachers are likely to acquire.

We're not leaving teaching to clean up in the private sector. We're leaving to temp for pound;4.80 an hour, to work in shops, to do paper rounds, anything, because - say it with me - it's not the money, stupid!

Rachel Ware
Ottery St Mary,
Devon

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