Abandon maths test for trainees;Letter;News amp; Opinion

12th November 1999 at 00:00
THE ADDITIONAL numeracy tests to be faced this year by teacher training students (TES, October 29) are unnecessary and call into question the existing qualification requirement for all teacher training courses which include having attained a grade C or better in GCSE mathematics.

This new government requirement is another demonstration of a lack of joined up thinking. It cannot be wise to place further irrelevant barriers before student teachers when already there is a teacher supply crisis. The tests should be abandoned.

New tests have been imposed on student teachers who were unaware at the time they enrolled, that they would have to take them. It is even more unfair that new and untried tests must be passed before full qualification as a teacher can be achieved.

This year's tests should be declared a national pilot. A pilot would allow a proper evaluation of the drafting processes, the arrangements for implementation and the reasonableness of the levels of attainment expected by the tests. Such an evaluation is only proper before passing these tests becomes a prerequisite to obtaining qualified teacher status.

Doug McAvoy General secretary National Union of Teachers Hamilton House Mabledon Place, London WC1H

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