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Saturday, September 18, 1999 Published at 00:13 GMT 01:13 UK


Education

Pay student teachers a salary - Lib Dems

Different angle: Lib Dems say teachers should be paid to train

The shortage of teachers could be tackled by paying students a salary while they train, say the Liberal Democrats.

Postgraduate teacher training students should be given £8,000 a year - around half a newly qualified teacher's starting salary - the party has recommended.

The proposal by the party, which is preparing for its annual conference next week, follows the publication of research on Friday which has forecast a long-term problem for teacher recruitment.

Academics from the University of Liverpool have claimed that a lack of young people entering the teaching profession and a growing school-age population will lead to a recruitment crisis.

'Money talks'

In response to shortages of teachers for specific subjects, such as maths and science, the government has offered £5,000 cash incentives - so-called "golden hellos" - for new recruits to the subjects.

Liberal Democrat education spokesman Don Foster now wants this scheme extended to other subjects such as English and history, for which applications have fallen.

The success of the cash incentives showed that "money does talk", said Mr Foster.

"All trainee teachers should be given a starting salary, just as police officers, accountants and civil servants are paid as they train. The government's present policy will only rearrange the chairs on the deck. It will not keep the supply of teachers afloat."





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