Why stay? Follow the money

18th January 2008 at 00:00

As a part-time lecturer, I am sometimes asked by my friends why I don't teach in schools (for which I am qualified). The answer is simple.

Colleges have a different ethos to schools, not because of anything imposed by those who run them but because of the nature of their students, specifically the fact that they are there out of choice.

With 14-16 becoming increasingly important and school leaving age legislation meaning our post-16s will be at college by default, that special ethos is likely to go.

What will I then tell my friends when they ask why I don't teach in school? That I'm happy earning less than schoolteachers for teaching exactly the same age group and exactly the same kind of compulsory student? Or should I say pupil?

Clearly we are entering a new phase where colleges are part of the compulsory education and training system with a bit of adult education bolted on on behalf of employers.

In which case, I think I shall go where the money is. Am I alone in my views?

Judith Baxter, Chalk Farm, North London.

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