Where's our share?;FE Focus

17th April 1998 at 01:00
For nearly 30 years Bill Matthews served in the Coldstream Guards. When he left four years ago he went to work for a firm of solicitors but was made redundant.

In his mid-forties and with one O-level to his name, he was having difficulty finding a job and his health was beginning to suffer. "It manifested itself in claustrophobia - I couldn't bear the Tube and if I went into a pub I would panic."

He decided to go back to college ("I found that I thoroughly enjoyed it") but his army pension, even though it was not enough to cover his mortgage payments, meant he couldn't be considered for any hardship money and left him entitled to just 10p a week in income support.

Now, although he has found a place at university to study medieval history, he is fearful about the future. "How I'm going to support myself I really don't know. It's not as if I'm 21 and can get a job behind a bar. People don't want 47-year-old barmen. If you are an able-bodied, single man nobody is interested in giving you any support.

"Another thing that really annoys me is that what little money there is going into FE is going towards FE for school-leavers. Everything this Government does seems to be aimed at people just leaving school. I have every sympathy for those people, but whether you are 17 or 47, if the Government says education is a priority then it should be fair shares for all."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now