Over 50 and under a cloud

7th June 1996 at 01:00
The experience of the newly-qualified 40-year-old teacher who cannot find a job - even though he's trained in a shortage subject (TES, May 17) - prompts me to tell my own story as a late entrant.

In 1982 I was made redundant as a scientist in industry. The recession killed any chance of a professional post and I had to "get on the factory floor" where I was treated with distaste by super-visors who thought I was after their jobs.

In 1990 I was accepted on a two-year BEd course at a leading West Country university. They promised that my industrial experience (20-plus years) would lead to immediate employment on qualifying in a shortage subject.

I was snapped up, but to fill a temporary post for a teacher on maternity leave. The headmaster put me on a grade 7 which I thought was great for a new graduate. But when the contract expired I had trouble getting another post as I was too expensive.

For two years I have been on the supply register, applying for jobs locally as my wife's job prevents us moving.

Supply work is not plentiful - two or three days a week if I'm lucky - but I am getting an insight into the local schools. I also hear that it is mainly financial considerations which determine who gets the jobs.

I am actively seeking work elsewhere, although at 50, I feel that ageism will prevent me from entering the industrial jobs market.

Like the previous writer I also wish to be anonymous. Many headteachers take against anyone who rocks the boat and I really do want to carry on working in schools.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today