Talking point

2nd February 2001 at 00:00
Will starting salaries in London of pound;20,000 help attract young teachers to the capital? Karen Thornton and Amanda Kelly gauged the reaction of those attending the Teaching in London graduate recruitment fair, at Earls Court.

NEWLY qualified teacher Andrew Webster, struggling to pay off student debts as well as his London rent, said a significant salary rise would dramatically improve his quality of life.

The 22-year-old, who teaches music at Lister community school, in Newham, east London, earns pound;19,000. He said: "I am thoroughly enjoying my first year of teaching, but having to survive on cornflakes puts a slight dampener on things."

ENVIRONMENT consultant Keith Lancaster, 25, from Bermondsey, south London, felt put off by the profession's poor earning potential and because his teacher parents had felt undervalued.

"Introducin a starting salary of around pound;20,000 in London would put teaching in line with careers, such as accountancy and law, and do a lot to persuade people to enter the profession."

Bola Ademuyiwa said she wouldn't turn down a pound;20,000 starting salary, but money had nothing to do with her decision to pursue a teaching career.

The business and information technology student from London's Guildhall University, said: "There's a lot of job satisfaction and job security in being a teacher."

However, the "those who can, teach" slogan has failed to capture the imagination of Stephanie Wilde, 21.

"Teaching looks like a lot of hard work and trouble, and it's not very good pay really."

But she thought the pound;20,000 salary would attract others and said the new pound;6,000 training salaries had persuaded one of her friends to take it up.


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