Ann Ryalls is a 36-year-old primary teacher with 11 years' teaching experience, and she is typical of many women teachers who find themselves locked into fixed-term contracts.
When she wanted to return to teaching on a part-time basis after the birth of her first child, she accepted a one-year renewable contract.
"That was a very foolish move," she said. "Although I was at the same school where I had worked as a permanent teacher, after four years they needed to lose 0.5 of a teaching post. That was it, I was the oneto go.
"Then I went into my present post, a job-share on a half-time basis, again on a one-year renewable contract. When Stockton became a unitary authority things got tough. My school is having to make cuts, and again it looks as if my post will be the one to go.
"My problem is that I am at the top of the salary scale and a probationer is at least Pounds 5,000 cheaper.
"I do feel sad that after 11 years' teaching I am in this position, especially as I have put in my own time for courses and curriculum development."