NEARLY 2,000 newly-qualified teachers will enter the workforce this month with the threat of disqualification hanging over them because they have not yet passed compulsory numeracy tests.
A total of 1,799 trainees - 7.4 per cent of those required to sit the new tests - have still not passed.
They will have three more chances during the coming induction year, or else they will fail to achieve qualified teacher status.
Eamonn O'Kane, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said he doubted whether the tests introduced this year would help to raise teaching standards.
"This is just creating another element of worry for students," he said. "It could also create one more obstruction to the recruitmentof teachers."
The first resit, sat by 1,133 trainees on July 26, produced a pass rate of 57 per cent.
The first set of tests, taken by 95 per cent of students in June, produced a pass rate of 95 per cent. A total of 772 students have not appeared for either sitting. A further 664 students failed one of the tests but did not sit the other, while 363 students have sat and failed both tests.
Their next opportunity will be in February, when the tests will be computerised for the first time.
A TTA spokesman said: "We don't want to make it difficult for induction year teachers. But they do have five chances to pass."
He said the Government and TTA would launch evaluation of the tests, incorporating students who had sat them, in the spring.