Simple solution to staff shortage

28th September 2001 at 01:00
THE teacher shortage could be wiped out if the Government granted big increases in pay, according to new research. However, bonuses would still be needed to tempt graduates into subjects with the worst recruitment problems.

The research found that a rise in teachers' pay equivalent to 10 per cent of the average non-manual wage could have raised the number of graduates entering teaching in 1996 by 11,400. A 25 per cent rise could have raised it by 34,000, the size of last year's shortfall.

But the study, from the London School of Economics, says even large, across-the-board rises might not tempt enough graduates in the South East and in shortage subjects.Those in subjects such as science would need even more pay because of the profession's poor image.

Although starting salaries for teachers were not much behind those of comparable professions, such as nursing and accountancy, by mid-career teachers were being paid significantly less than other professions, the study found.

Hours of work, poor promotion prospects and limited scope for exercising initiative also contributed to dissatisfaction among experienced teachers.

Leader, 22

Details from S.Mcintosh@lse.ac.uk

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