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Friday, 2 February, 2001, 09:22 GMT
Pay is not the only reward
tta stand
Selling teaching: Training agency at a recruitment fair
One of the main aims of this year's pay rise for teachers in England and Wales is to bolster recruitment, with reports of widespread difficulties in filling vacancies and some schools having to send pupils home because they do not have enough staff.

The Teacher Training Agency (TTA) is struggling to pull people into the profession at a time when the buoyant economy means good graduates are much in demand.

Susana Olivares
Susana Olivares: Keen to work with children
At a recruitment fair in London this week, pay was not the only factor on the minds of those attracted to the TTA's stand.

Susana Olivares said she was very keen to do the post graduate certificate in education needed to qualify as a secondary school teacher.

Her main motivation was to work with children.

'Deserve more'

"The wages are not really an incentive at all because they are quite low," she said.

She thinks a reasonable starting salary would be 20,000 to 25,000.

"I do think they deserve a lot more because they work very hard, their life revolves around being a teacher."

Reshma Lakhani
Reshma Lakhani: "The important thing is a happy career"
Reshma Lakhani said she had wanted to be a teacher since she was 16 - but initially became an optometrist.

"But I've taken a year out now and I've just been on the internet researching and with everyone saying teachers are in demand that's why I'm here, trying to find out more," she said.

The wages were not an issue.

"Going in to become an optician, the pay's really good. But it's not what I want to do.

"I just want a career that's going to make me happy and pay's not an issue for me."

Family man

But it is important for George Godyn, a middle-aged former accountant.

George Godyn
George Godyn: Family to consider
Having returned to England from abroad and with teaching running in his family, he is considering a career change to indulge his love of history and to "give something back to the community".

He is married with four children - so being able to support a family in Greater London is a significant factor.

"I've got to consider how I'm going to put four children through a university education," he said.

One of those staffing the TTA stand is a newly qualified teacher, Matthew Godfrey.

Matthew Godfrey
Matthew Godfrey: "Salaries are getting better"
When he graduated in 1993 he first became a management consultant.

"I think there seems to be a general understanding that in teaching you're not going to get paid a lot of money," he said.

"Having said that, there is an acknowledgement that the salaries are getting better.

"One thing I've been trying to get across is that there are other rewards about being a teacher and also that the financial reward are not so bad."

He said reports of teacher shortages had meant that people saw that there was an opportunity for career progression.

"The kind of people I've met here today are not the kind of people who are motivated solely by money."

Susana Olivares
"I want to be in the teaching profession"
Reshma Lakhani
"Pay is not an issue for me"
George Godyn
"A chance to indulge my passion"
Matthew Godfrey
"In teaching you're not going to get paid a lot"
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