Restoring satisfaction to the job

10th January 1997 at 00:00
Ruth is in her early 30s. She works part-time in a small rural primary school in the Peak District, devoting the rest of her time to bringing up her children.

While the health service is her number one concern, education is almost as important.

Her children's school has just warned its budget may be cut for the second year running and is asking parents to help buy equipment.

Under-funding, job insecurity and class sizes are among her main professional concerns. She finds it difficult as it is to teach a class of 30 mixed ability children, made up of four different age groups.

She believes that if the public wants a high quality education service it will have to be willing to pay for it.

She is very disappointed with the Conservatives who, she says, don't seem to be interested in the public sector.

But she is also disappointed with Labour, which she says has become too authoritarian.

She thinks the Liberal Democrats' education policies are most likely to put optimism back into schools.

"It's the old feel good factor. It will make us feel good, or at least better, and put some of the job satisfaction back," she says.

Despite the worry that their "shopping list is a bit pie in the sky", she intends to vote for the Lib Dems, not least because they are well placed to win in her constituency, a marginal Tory seat.

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