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Time limit on induction can scupper new career

I read with interest the letter from Mike Robinson (Friday, October 13) as, like him, I am a mature NQT in the south-west still seeking my first appointment. Unlike him, I have a BEd in primary education with mathematics as my specialist subject. Since qualifying in July last year, my interview to application ratio is 1:15. And there is supposed to be a serious shortage of maths teachers! Not, apparently, in the south-west.

Mr Robinson says his only teaching opportunities are supply work. He is lucky, as I will shortly have this taken from me. The induction rules allow me to do supply teaching for only four terms after qualifying without completing my induction period. The DfEE has tol me that these four terms are "a concession for NQTs while they search for an inductable post". Thanks.

But what happens to me if I have not got an appointment by spring term 2001? I will no longer be able to earn money from supply work and I will lose the opportunity to become known in schools where a vacancy may arise. I may be forced, reluctantly, to give up the profession I worked so hard to join. As induction is effectively an additional year of "training" (it is passfail) perhaps the Government should consider a system of school placement, funding the salary and other costs, to avoid the type of situation I, and others like me, are in.

Mark Panizzi Honiton, Devon

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