SIR,—It seems that Retired Simmarian
has been unfortunate.
I am a Governor of a Secondary Mixed School in S.E. England. The Board of Governors consists of a priest chairman, two other priests, four laymen and three laywomen, who were invited to join the board by the priest-chairman, and a layman and laywomen appointed by the L.E.A. Governors are expected to give their views at board meetings on all matters appertaining to their appointment.
The Headmaster of our school is a layman, and the Deputy a nun. Vacant posts are filled on merit from the applicants available, sometimes by a majority vote of the Governors, with priest members often voting on opposite sides.
Our school enjoys a high repu tation educationally Because of this we have had over 60 applicants for some appointments.
If boards of Governors and Managers do their job properly schoolmasters will not feel cause for complaint.
SIR.-1 trust the correspondence on this subject will get somewhere. My experience might deserve consideration by the authorities.
I was called for interview for the post of deputy Head of a primary school opening in September, on a Saturday. I arrived at the priest's house at 6 o'clock on Friday, having travelled 180 odd miles, to be told that the interviews were postponed till Wednesday. No effort was made to contact me to cancel the journey at that time! In the course of conversation I was told that the posts of assistant teachers (one with an S.R. allowance) had yet to be advertised.
When I arrived on Wednesday (another day off school!) as well as the interviews for the deputy's post there were four others for interview, one of whom said she was for the post of special respon sibility. A fortnight later the advertisement for the posts referred to duly appeared in the Catholic press! No comment.
I applied for a post of deputy head of another school advertised in the "CH." I got a polite note of thanks informing me it was intended to appoint a local man.
I am a newcomer to this job of trying to break into a Catholic school on the same basis as I have in a county school, in response to the Hierarchy's appeal. My experience after two applications is a bit shattering.
In reply to School Manager, may I ask his advice on this point? A married man with three children and his own house takes the only available post in the area. He cannot afford to move after financing himself through college. Then he wishes to teach in a Catholic school when he has got just above the bread line and out of debt.
Is he justified in getting into debt by taking an assistant's post a distance away with the necessary huge expense of moving and house hunting? In my case only a P.S.R. would justify the upheaval of the family and I feel sure this is the position with the majority of married Catholics in county schools.
Until I can afford the luxury of teaching in a Catholic school I shall have to remain A "County " Schoolmaster