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Letters extra: Stupid to need maths for teaching English

At last you have raised the issue of the absurdity of the DfEE requiring that candidates for PGCE courses to become English teachers require an O-levelGCSE grade C pass in maths.

Not having this does not mean that I am innumerate. It does not mean that I cannot work out percentages. It simply means that I cannot do trigonometry and equations - topics that are irrelevant to English. There is a good reason for this failing - I was badly taught in an impoverished Catholic secondary school in East London in the late Sixties to mid Seventies. The ruling means that I am virtually unemployable because it is impossible to get any sort of job outside teaching. If one's work has been teaching, albeit on a part-time, hand-to-mouth basis, then employers do not want to know. They think that once a teacher, even one without a PGCE, always a teacher. This even applies to jobs for the examination agencies AQA and EdExcel, despite my having been an assistant examiner for the past three years for the English A-level paper B. Robert E Murrray Wanstead, London E11

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