Ready, willing and able

6th April 2001 at 01:00
I read with interest the article (TESS, March 30) "Where have all the teachers gone?" In my case, I can tell you that the answer is, sitting at home waiting to be included on the supply teacher list and getting very frustrated by delay after delay.

I knew last march that I would be moving to Aberdeen from Derbyshire in November 2000, so applied to the General Teaching Council for registration. The process took until August, although I had been teaching French and German up to A-level in England for 20 years, was an A-level German examiner and examiner in both languages at GCSE and already working as a supply teacher for an agency.

In July, I contacted the south Aberdeenshire area education office in Stonehaven to make initial enquiries about procedures, because I had taken early retirement on health grounds. I was assured that this would no preclude me from inclusion on their supply register and that I would be able to work according to the conditions of my pension arrangements.

In November I duly arrived in Aberdeen and filled in the necessary forms for inclusion on the supply register. I waited and waited to hear back and eventually, on February 1, I was interviewed by two deputy headteachers to ascertain my suitability for supply teaching. As a result of this interview, it was decided that I would have to see an occupational health examiner because I had taken early retirement on health grounds in 1994.

After another wait of eight weeks, I contacted the area office again to find out the reason for this extra delay. Once again, I was passed from one person to the next until someone eventually phoned me back to apologise.

Rhona Hunt

John Street, Aberdeen

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