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Teaching: When ‘new’ doesn’t mean ‘young’

by on April 17, 2013

Earlier this month, the National Union of Teachers annual conference took place. The Independent’s Chalk Talk column (linked here) featured an interesting item on a private session at the conference when it was suggested that age 30 should be the cut-off point to be considered a ‘young’ teacher. The move was overturned with union bosses sent back to consider the issue again.

Reading this made me check the NUT website and there certainly seems to be some conflation between the idea of being a ‘new’ teacher and being ‘young’. It has a section called ‘new teachers’ (which doesn’t on the face of it mention age) but the NUT also holds an anuual conference for ‘young teachers’ for which only teachers aged 35 and younger are eligible.

All of this makes me wonder whether the issues faced by ‘young’ teachers are different from those faced by ‘new’ teachers or whether there isn’t a substantial overlap.

Rather ironically, on the ‘New Teacher’ section of the NUT website, there was an unanswered message headed ‘Career change at 41’ seeking advice on becoming a primary school teacher at this age.


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