Perks do not exist in real world

25th September 1998 at 01:00
Peter King's article ("Guard our golden moments of calm," TES, September 11) betrays the fact that while he may know a great deal about the real world of schools, he knows little about the real world of employment for the rest of us.

Speaking on behalf of those of us who are in that world (I work as a press officer), I would say that there may be a few people who benefit from some of the perks he lists - but they are not the majority. Most people (including professionals) do not have long lunch breaks, company cars, freebies to exotic locations and private health schemes. The expenses claimed are only those to which people are entitled, ie money they have spent in the course of work. And as for hefty pay packets - the average wage in this country is less than many teachers earn.

You are treading on dangerous ground, Mr King. Non-teachers, if pushed, will admit that teachers work hard and need their long holidays and free periods. But don't start pretending that in the matter of largely imaginary perks teachers are worse off than the rest of the working population. It just ain't true, and it's insulting.

Sue Cavill 75 Belvoir Drive Leicester

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