GCSE has been blamed for many things but it is not responsible for any perceived weaknesses in primary school mathematics teaching. Allowing around two years for A-level study and four years for a BEd, then only teachers entering the profession in the past two or three years could have taken GCSE. Accepting that many of those who did were awarded an A or B, you can see that very few of our primary school teachers have "just a C at GCSE". Even those who do will have had many hours of mathematics tuition as part of their studies for teaching in a primary school.
ANN KITCHEN Research fellow Centre for maths education University of Manchester