State-sector teaching offers different rewards

10th January 2003 at 00:00
Oxbridge graduate teachers are more likely to end up working in independent schools. Adi Bloom reports on new research.

"Sir, if you went to Oxford, what are you doing here?"

This was the question posed to Stephen Davies by his pupils at St Robert of Newminster comprehensive, in Sunderland. The 26-year-old history teacher graduated from Merton College, Oxford, with an MA in history. He then went on to obtain a postgraduate certificate in education from Cambridge University's Institute of Education.

His pupils, like many of the adults he encounters, cannot understand why someone with his educational background would choose to work at a comprehensive. But it was, he says, a deliberate decision: "The private sector gets a lot of very good people. But the state sector gives you a view of the real world."

While the state sector may not always provide the over-achieving pupils found in selective classrooms, Mr Davies believes that it offers different, more satisfying rewards.

"Some children understand nothing about politics and history. It's frightening. Are these people safe to vote?

"You have to get past whatever barriers they have built up and engage them. It is a challenge, but if you have done it you get a real adrenaline rush."

But Mr Davies acknowledges that, as an Oxford graduate, he could be earning significantly more than his pound;21,000 salary "We started at pound;15,000, and I know someone who started in a private school for pound;20,000." he said.

And he admits he may one day be lured into the private sector.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now