Real-world recruitment crisis

3rd November 2000 at 00:00
DOES Baroness Blackstone live in the real world? (TES, October 20). Her denial of any problems of recruitment brings back memories of the then prime minister James Callaghan's "Crisis, what crisis?"

Ours is a very successful, oversubscribed school that has just achieved technology status and was highly praised in our recent Office for Standards in Education report. We are in an area of inexpensive housing where the quality of life is high and the "teacher's pound" goes a great deal further than in the cities and other shire counties.

Yet, our recent advertisements for a scale 4 head of English resulted in just five enquiries, reducing down to a field of two (one internal) for interview.

For a science teacher we attracted just one candidate for interview. I suppose we wre lucky to get enquiries.

Schools in many areas often get none and in another part of the county, I know of one school with seven vacancies for January that cannot even find enough supply teachers - let alone worthwhile candidates for the permanent posts.

The Baroness may take comfort in the anonymity of national statistics, however the pupils being denied quality education, or any education, are real people who are having their individual life chances diminished.

The new funding measures may in time alleviate the problem. However, for many of today's young people the crisis is all too real. For them any solution will come too late.

Paul Strong


William Farr CofE comprehensive school

Lincoln Road



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