Unable to fulfil teaching dream

I would like to bring attention to some of the shortfalls of the Government's plans for filling teaching positions.

I have graduated this year with a 2:1 honours degree from De Montfort University, and yet I have been unable to gain acceptance on a postgraduate certificate in education course. This is owing mainly to the fact that the Government has offered pound;6,000 to those taking a PGCE. Therefore they have increased competition for entry on to these courses but have not increased the amount of places available to cover the demand.

Due to competition, higher levels of experience are needed which generally take time in the working world to accrue. It was indeed suggested to me that possibly I did not attain a place because I lacked classroom experience.

How would I obtain classroom experience when I have been involved in full-time education for the past three years?

So as not to abandon my wish of becoming a teacher, I applied to schools to be placed on the Graduate Training Programme. Then in interviews I discovered that the GTP was only open to candidates over the age of 24.

I was sure this had to be a mistake, as it would seem ludicrous to encourage graduates to become teachers and then make it impossible for them to do so. To my extreme shock and disgust I went on to the Teacher Training Agency website and discovered this bizarre restriction was true.

The restriction apparently is to encourage graduates to follow the PGCE route rather than the GTP. While this may seem to be a sensible money-saving endeavour as the GTP pays around pound;12,000 a year and PGCE is pound;6,000, it seems ridiculous that once again the Government is putting money ahead of education.

Nicola Watson 238 Redwood Grove, Bedford

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