Trainee scheme allowed to fail

17th March 2000 at 00:00
MY experience of the MS600 scheme (TES, March 3) is that it was not supported by schools.

Why should they take risks with mature maths and science graduates with little or no teaching experience? If they had been allowed to pass the full cost of employing such a person to the Department for Education and Employment, perhaps they would have been more enthusiastic.

Maybe they should have been constrained to one-year fixed-term contracts for the "extra" teacher after which time there might have been a vacancy or the trainee would have moved on. The failure of the scheme cannot be heaped onto TimePlan; it failed to support risk-taking within schools

The "golden hello" for maths and science PGCE entrants is not big enough. To be effective it should be in the region of pound;8,000 for the training year and another pound;8,000 (tax-free) on taking up a teaching post. The one thing that Margaret Thatcher surely taught every idealist and socialist is that you can not buck the market.

While industry and commerce are prepared to offer salaries of pound;10,000 to pound;15,000 for graduate entrants teaching will have to do something similar. Oh, and perhaps ministers could stop using teachers as whipping boys?

Paul Gibson

Huma Kusu

Coronation Road


Stroud, Gloucestershire

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