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Top Tory backs Evening Star campaign

The Ipswich Evening Star’s campaign to get more help for teachers is being backed by the Shadow Education Secretary, Theresa May.

Mrs May highlighted the paper’s crusade when she appeared on Radio 4’s Today programme.

She told the Evening Star: “I think it is very important for local newspapers to highlight the fact that there is a problem in their areas, at a time when the government is trying to claim that the shortage of teachers is just affecting London.

“It isn’t just in London. As your articles showed, it is happening across the country.”

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover has written to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Education Secretary David Blunkett to explain how the teacher shortage is affecting Suffolk.

Schools across the county have been hit by staff illnesses and are also having difficulty in recruiting staff.

The situation is so bad that there is now a worry that some lessons in one local school may have to be cut.

Mrs May said: “One of the reasons why so many teachers are leaving the profession is the workload.

“There is too much bureaucracy and they can’t get on with the job.”

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