One out, next one in

30th September 2005 at 01:00
David Henderson's report about new staff recruitment numbers in your issue last week summed up for me the problems I have had over the past 18 months in getting a regular primary class teacher position.

The comments by Fiona Hyslop of the SNP that "we hear stories of teachers who cannot get jobs (and) there is a real danger of a probationer bottleneck" are quite true.

I have been interviewed for 15 jobs in the past 18 months: only afterwards did it turn out that eight posts were already taken by newly- qualified teachers, three were already spoken for and two were actually temporary jobs (covering for NQTs). None of this was made clear before interviews.

I have heard that, after their first year, some NQTs were given "their" jobs without interviews, althought they are not necessarily "their" jobs in the first place. On the other hand, I know of an NQT in a different part of the country whose headteacher wanted to keep them on, but the authority told them that they had to accept a new NQT to the position.

One out, next one in. What good is that for new staff, schools or pupils? And this "probationer bottleneck" is already squeezing out mid-level experienced people like myself, with nine years of successful experience with children. What is the future for schools when the predicted group of teachers retires in the next few years and the only people in schools will be those who have just walked into "their" jobs and have very limited years of experience?

Obviously I am not speaking out against individual probationers themselves,which is why I will remain anonymous, but against the national system as it stands atthe moment.

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