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Rigid formula misses potential

The Teacher Training Agency's insistence on an upper second degree for entrants to the profession (TES, September 5) will dispose of far more potentially good teachers than poor ones.

I chose my profession before getting a third in my maths degree, and my poor understanding of Galois theory has not stopped me successfully teaching A-level further maths. Rather, I feel my difficulty in understanding helps me empathise with students' difficulties, and this is harder for someone who has never really "failed". The fact that I was recommended points for excellence and that I am now an acting head of department show a good honours degree is not necessary for professional competence. Oxford University's department of education had the common sense to recognise my potential rather than follow a rigid formula.

It is ironic that it was the TTA's "Teaching as a Career" scheme in 1990 that turned me on to teaching - a scheme which was cancelled the following year. I am sure that many of my colleagues feel that the TTA is being unfair in its new guidelines, and also despise the Pounds 2,000 drop in salary for third-class degrees despite equal professional training and commitment to the job.

ADAM CREEN

The Vicarage Causeway Horsham West Sussex

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