Offer students extra incentives

12th January 2001 at 00:00
I HAVE worked as a science teacher for three years, and my girlfriend is training to be an English teacher. We are both alarmed at the recruitment crisis in some locations and subjects.

My girlfriend gave up a good job to retrain. It seems crazy that the Government thanks her by allowing her to get into debt to the tune of thousands of pounds.

She has demonstrated a commitment to the profession by taking a four-year BEd rather than the postgraduate route, as she feels that provides the best training for work with youner children. Surely this should be encouraged if the Government want to recruit and retain good career teachers. But, unlike her graduate colleagues, she does not get paid for the numerous weeks of teaching practice she undertakes. Why can Education Secretary David Blunkett not provide such students with a bursary similar to that given to trainee nurses?

If shortage areas such as teaching were made more financially attractive to students, surely there might be an increased uptake.

Mike Baker Gravesend, Kent

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