Part-time benefits

7th September 2001 at 01:00
Throughout industry, companies have been waking up to the advantages of part-time work and job-share. It is a well-known fact that two part-time workers contribute more than one full-time employee. However, in a profession with a desperate staff shortage, I am amazed that headteachers have the audacity to stereotype part-timers as "middle-aged women with husbands that can support them" (TES, August 31). I am a science teacher, who joined the profession after some time in industry. Having recently started a family, I decided that I could do justice to neither my teaching nor my family if I returned full-time. I consider that I have the same enthusiasm and commitment to the job that I love, only now three days a week, rather than five. I certainly do not see why working part-time will affect whether or not I help out with extra-curricular activities, as stated in your article. I concede that having part-time staff will produce some timetabling difficulties, but surely this is a small price to pay when balanced against the loss of experienced teachers who would otherwise leave the profession altogether. To the heads that are negative, I would say wake up to the 21st century.

Zoe Watson 51 Ashby Road Watford, Hertfordshire

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