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On a wheel downer

I read with amusement the recent poll on teachers' cars (TES, January 16).

There was no mention of whether they actually worked or stood a chance of passing their next MOT. What is clear, in our parking bays at least, is the great difference between cars owned by lecturers (most earning less that 23K a year) and those with higher salaries - such as our principal, who sports a new Mercedes. There is a secondary school up the road where most cars are shiny and new. On my salary, I won't be able to replace my eight-year-old Citroen that's done 180,000 miles and is approaching its MOT like a Vauxhall Conference team heading for Old Trafford. It may yet be the bus for me.

Is that a plea for more money or perhaps a management-sponsored deal to reduce the cost of a new car? The Gap, always a source of corporate inspiration, runs such a scheme. Staff can buy cars at very low rates of interest. But I note that many of the students, always the first to complain about funds, seem to drive the smart cars.

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