Low salary rubs salt into wounds

21st February 2003 at 00:00
NEVER have I felt so compelled to write to a publication and express my views as I do now, with the impending crisis over teachers' workload and pay.

As a young teacher in her second year of primary teaching I am utterly astounded to read that my profession is sinking even deeper into the spiral of poor recognition and appreciation of our work.

I understand the Government feels under pressure to relieve the workload but drafting in teaching assistants to teach our classes with possibly a higher salary than younger teachers is disgusting.

I spent four years working hard at university to train to do a job I love and one that I feel is ultimately not only contributing to my local community but to Britain as a whole. I now find that teaching is thought of in the public's eye as barely a profession and that anyone can do it. And I am faced with the treat of what amounts to frozen pay for the next three years.

How does the Government expect me to buy my own home, have children, pay off university debts and lead the lifestyle any trained profession would expect? Is it any wonder so many young teachers are leaving?

Although I love my job and don't want to do anything else, I feel I will leave the profession if I am getting less respect and money than friends who have little formal qualifications. Friends who receive annual bonuses, the chance for all-expenses-paid trips abroad, less stress and overtime pay to list but a few of the advantages.

When will the Government learn that in order to retain people in the profession, they need to treat us like the professionals we are and pay us accordingly? That would be one step in the right direction and would stop other young teachers like myself from considering leaving teaching.

Workload isn't the only problem!

K Rodie

Devizes, Wiltshire

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