Taking away my bursary is an odd way to recruit staff;Letter

27th March 1998 at 00:00

In recent days the news has been filled with the Government's determination to recruit and keep teachers. There is talk of "not forgetting a good teacher" and extra funding seems to be promised.

As a returning mature student studying for a BEd in secondary science (a shortage subject) I want to comment on the situation away from the media hype.

When I started my course I was promised a yearly bursary of nearly pound;1,000 - this was to encourage more people to become science teachers, to make it affordable to train. I gave up a well-paid job to live on a tiny grant and student loan in order to become a teacher. The bursary was therefore an important part of my financial planning. I now find one week after this was due to be paid that the Teacher Training Agency has dramatically reduced the amount of my bursary and from next year has withdrawn this funding.

This seems to me to be in complete contradiction to pound;3.5 million that Anthea Millett , the chief executive of the TTA, claimed was "a small price to pay" for recruiting teachers on the BBC1 Panorama. I now see the whole TV campaign as merely a good publicity stunt for a Government unwilling to pay for the "education, education, education" it promised prior to May 1997.

Bryce Wilby

BEd student Anglia Polytechnic University 24 Hurst Green Brightlingsea Essex

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