Why make the pool even deeper?

2nd February 1996 at 00:00
I read with a sense of dismay and rage the continuing reports of lack of funds for education. This will result in teacher redundancies as schools have to eke out inadequate budgets. Simultaneously we are asked to believe that there is expected to be a shortage of teachers. To cope, the Teacher Training Agency aims to increase the number of teachers trained from 20,000 to 30,000 per annum.

Why on earth increase the pool of qualified teachers when budgets do not allow schools to employ them? We are aware that there are too few teachers in schools. It seems that an imbalance exists between the funding of teacher training and the funding for schools that allows those much-needed teachers to work. The existing shortage of money for schools means that there is already a pool of teachers who are unemployed.

To increase teacher numbers without properly funding schools that employ them appears a cynical political move to increase competition for too few jobs, thereby depressing salaries. That may mean education on the cheap, but it will not make for enthusiastic committed teachers. Instead they will continue to be over-extended, whilst having even more tenuous job security, resulting in a climate of fear which will surely not make for success in Britain's classrooms. Schools must be given budgets to employ the teachers they need or the cash for training will plainly be a waste of education funds.

CHRISTINE M CARTER 34 Narrow Lane Hathern Loughborough, Leicestershire

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