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Wheeze leaves trainee seeing red

FULL marks for trying go to the Teacher Training Agency. It's got a lousy job - what with trying to boost recruitment in the middle of a crisis when it can't do anything about the things that really put people off, such as rubbish pay, red tape, teeny thugs and Chris Woodhead.

Still, it goes about it with bags of enthusiasm, even if it doesn't always get the details right. Latest wheeze is a pack sent out to hotline callers trumpeting the new pound;6,000 training salaries. It even includes a mock cheque, payable to "Trainee Teacher".

Unfortunately, some recipients called quite a long time ag. Hardeep Samra - Sam to his mates - rang the hotline back in January 1998. He has just come back from Leicester University where he completed a primary PGCE course which has left him heavily in the red. Guess what was waiting on his doormat. Guess how big his debts are.

A swift complaint to the TTA prompted the excuse that they couldn't check which callers had found places because of the Data Protection Act. Sam is unimpressed. "It's just rubbing it in your face," he tells the Diary. "I've got accumulated debts of pound;6,000 and this just makes it worse."

Still, nice try, folks.

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