But will they take the money and run?

7th April 2000 at 01:00
IT'S A DAMP afternoon outside the computer wing of London's South Bank University, but for undergraduates knocking off for the weekend, the future is undeniably sunny.

"My friend started a job on pound;18,000 and he's up to pound;38,000 after 18 months," says Llewellyn Ramos, a 21-year-old second-year information technology student. "People really go into IT for the money. You know there are going to be jobs there."

"Everybody's going into contract work - six months' work and six months' holiday," chips in his friend, Vimmi Shah, 21. "Contracting is a wicked job."

These are the kinds of people the Government hopes will be attracted by thoughts of pound;6,000 training salaries and pound;4,000 golden hellos: bright young technology students - from ethnic minorities to boot, a target recruitment sector in today's unrepresentative teaching force. However, the consensus is: pound;150 a week is no bad thing, but we'll go for the real money, thanks.

At Leeds Metropolitan University, students are quick to say the money wouldn't have made any difference.

Helen Bancrof, 19, thought the pound;70 million would be better spent on improving working conditions in schools, particularly secondaries.

"I wouldn't go into teaching unless working conditions improved. Teachers spend all their time worrying about budgets, there is so much administration and so much stress. They have to do so much outside school hours, especially at secondary schools."

Richard Patel-Grainger, 23, a student PE teacher, agreed the Government was offering what seems to a student a great deal of money. "I think it might tempt people to do it but then get out as soon as they can, if it's not something they really enjoy. I think there will be people who will take the money and run."

Student teacher Rebecca Marriott, 25, has a degree in modern languages but has chosen to teach three to eight-year-olds. She says the money wouldn't have persuaded her to go into secondary teaching.

Meanwhile, PGCE and BEd students, watching their debts rack up while learning that their successors will be paid, inundated The TES with complaints this week.


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