Young, gifted and knocked back

4th December 1998 at 00:00
Libby Purves's article (TES, November 20) was both interesting and rather depressing. What are we doing about the scarcity of young men teaching in primary schools? If my son's recent experience is anything to go by, precious little.

He is by no means a high-flyer, rather a typically late-developing male, who is making steady progress in English major with PE minor. Although he has wanted to teach since early in his sixth-form career, our advice (both teachers) was for him to complete a degree followed by a postgraduate certificate in education, rather than embark on a BEd, to widen his options.

He is currently applying for places on primary PGCE courses but he is getting depressingly similar answers, that is: "We only want people with a 2:1 or better". I find it very surprising that an outgoing, committed, enthusiastic young man, offering a core subject and PE, with good references from time spent helping in an inner-city primary school is having any difficulty finding a place.

This seems even more surprising given the need for an extra 4,000-plus infant teachers by September 2000 to satisfy the Government's class size pledge.

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