Talking point

31st August 2001 at 01:00
David Floyd, head of Thomas Mills High School, Framlington, Suffolk: "Part of the problem is the way teaching is portrayed. I was in the cinema and a recruiting advert came on which talked about "raising the dead". It was basically trying to persuade people that teaching isn't that bad. We should be shouting from the treetops that teaching is the most joyous occupation in the world, not a third-rate option."

Margaret Bainbridge, head of High School for Girls, Gloucester: "We had appointments to make in maths, technology and languages, so started in January - and were glad we did. We made good appointments.We are thankful we have been lucky this year."

Ian Power, head of Lord Wandsworth College, a private school in Hook, Hampshire: "Even we are feeling the pinch with fewer high-quality candidates for posts. We have filled three out of five positions this year with teachers from South Africa and Australia. I certainly don't see this as a second-rate option."

Michael Deegan, head of St Patrick's RC High School in Manchester: "Money is only half the problem. The Government has too many short-term initiatives and failed to tackle the bureaucracy which means teachers have no life outside school. Young people see friends in other professions with more money and free time, and are put off. A lot of the fun has gone out of teaching."

Steve Edgar, head of The Amersham School, Buckinghamshire: "It costs around three or four times more to live here than elsewhere in the country, yet teachers receive only pound;700 in London weighting a year. This makes it virtually impossible to attract staff."

Peter Braggins, of The Skinners school, Tunbridge Wells, Kent: "We have staff leaving to teach in independent schools, and for equivalent jobs having significant salary increases. One went to a neighbouring independent school and got a pound;7,000 increase."

Stan Grue, head of Forest School in Wokingham: "It's easy to be wise after the event but the Government should have done more to tackle teacher shortages before it did. The only thing that will make a big difference at the moment is a recession, that is when we have had the most and best quality applicants."

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