Shift focus on to older recruits

17th November 2000 at 00:00
I HAVE worked in various career services for 16 years and observed the declining interest in teaching as a career.

When I first started you could guarantee that 10 per cent of fifth-formers would show an interest in teaching. Nowadays when this is mentioned in careers interviews most young people laugh! The fact is that they want adequate remuneration from their career, coupled with job satisfaction and recognition.

The comment by Phil Willis, the Liberal Democrat education spokesman, is right:

"When I left school my teachers encouraged me to go into teaching; today the opposite is the case." (TES, November 3)

Young people see their hard-pressed teachers and really do not want to follow in their fotsteps.

The Government strategy of just another expensive advertising campaign is therefore unlikely to attract young aspiring graduates - they switched off the idea of teaching at 15 or 16 or earlier!

Funding older entrants will help, however. Careers offices regularly have enquiries from adults looking for a career change and willing to consider teaching.

Most lose interest when they see the expected starting salary and realise they are likely to have to return to a student grant. The employment-based routes will be an attraction, especially if they offer a salary for "on-the-job" training.

Inglis Wightman

Manager, Guildford Careers Centre

Park Street

Guildford, Surrey

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today