I READ with interest reports on the qualifications of further education lecturers (TES, January 8). I am sure that many in the sector would welcome a move to ensure that all college teaching staff have qualified-teacher status.
Perhaps this would be a significant step towards raising morale, after years of having our professionalism queried and actively eroded. However, can the Government afford to pay lecturers at a rate that reflects such a status?
I hold four postgraduate qualifications in education. When I transferred from schools into FE I held a postgraduate certificate in education with distinction, and a diploma in the practice of science education.
While working in an FE college I was awarded my master's in science education. I have since completed a doctorate in education. I have been lucky to work in a college where staff development has continued to be seen as important.
When some of my adult students learned of my new academic status they asked if I would be rewarded with a pay rise. When I informed them that actually my salary was indefinitely "frozen", and that I had not been awarded cost-of-living increases for some years, they thought this was an incredible state of affairs.
My colleagues do not share the naivete of the students: they mostly assume that I will simply use my PhD to help me move on to a better job.
If the Government is serious about wanting a highly-qualified and professional body of FE teachers it should act now to resolve the contracts dispute, instigate national pay scales and ensure annual pay review.
Dr Keith Taber 3 Mason Drive Harold Wood, Essex