Tudors today

20th December 1996 at 00:00
From Dr Robert Davis

When the English fleet returned from defeating the Spanish Armada, Queen Elizabeth I was told that paying off the sailors would deplete the coffers of the Exchequer alarmingly. By tradition sailors were paid when they went ashore. Sickness broke out aboard the fleet and sailors began to die. The Queen was advised that if she kept sailors on board on standby, then in time there would be fewer left alive to pay off and a considerable saving to the Exchequer.

Recently the Department for Education and Employment decreed that local councils must pay a significant portion of the pensions of teachers retiring prematurely. It is therefore safe to say that in the future, hard-up local education services will release fewer teachers for early retirement. We can also predict continuation, if not increase, in the high mortality rate for teachers forced to work in stressful situations until full retirement age.

Does the new DFEE ruling represent a return to the policy of keep-them-on-board-for-as-long-as-possible-and-save-the-Exchequer-money? A return to Tudor values?

DR ROBERT DAVIS 5 Beverley Close, Balsall Common, Coventry.

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