Sort out the salary to sort out recruitment problems

4th May 2001 at 01:00
I am one of the many qualified teachers who chose to abandon the profession, in my case shortly after qualifying as a secondary English teacher four years ago.

I now earn more, though not that much more, than I would have as a classroom teacher. But I miss the intensity, the buzz and the rewards of working with teenagers and, I suppose, the holidays.

What I have realised in the world outside the classroom is that there are people who earn substantially more than most teachers but who wouldn't last five minutes in the classroom, and are nowhere near as talented, hard-working or clever as my former colleagues. If the price was right, I would seriously onsider returning, as would other ex-teachers I know.

In the meantime, I follow the developments in education with a mixture of horror and anticipation - maybe this time, I keep thinking, they'll get it: they'll pay real salaries for a real job.

Sometimes you just have to trust that teachers are good, for the most part, and put your money where your mouth is. When I see outstanding teachers being paid less than mediocre workers in business and industry, I cringe at what this implies. Until this situation is rectified the decision-makers deserve the mess they have made of teacher recruitment and retention.

Jayne Moore, Purfleet, Essex

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