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One more hurdle to jump

DONNA Hicks (above) has spent eight years working towards a career in primary teaching and is now in her induction year.

She has already failed the 45-minute numeracy test three times.

She said this week's decision would relieve the pressure on her. The 43-year-old has a husband who took early retirement because of ill-health and two young children to support.

But she had been prepared to take her case to a European court, if necessary, under equal opportunities and human rights legislation.

She said: "It still means that people can come from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to teach in England who won't have had to take the tests at all."

She said teachers would never have to interpret data under the time-limited test conitions.

Amy Dettmer is glad she chose to train to be a teacher in Wales. She lost out financially, because pound;2,000 of her pound;6,000 training salary will not be paid out until she has completed her first year in teaching, meaning it will be taxed. But at least she has not had to take the tests. "The last thing any of us would want is to sit literacy and numeracy tests, especially when we all have good GCSEs in English and maths," she said.

Originally from south-east England, the 22-year-old graduated in music at Cardiff last year, and went on to a post-graduate teacher training course at the city's University of Wales Institute. She already has a job lined up at a secondary school in Churchill, a north Somerset village.

Karen Thornton

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