C for competent

29th March 1996 at 00:00
I can only hope that you have misquoted Professor David Burghes (TES, March 15).

GCSE has been blamed for many things but it is not responsible for any perceived weaknesses in primary school mathematics teaching. Allowing around two years for A-level study and four years for a BEd, then only teachers entering the profession in the past two or three years could have taken GCSE. Accepting that many of those who did were awarded an A or B, you can see that very few of our primary school teachers have "just a C at GCSE". Even those who do will have had many hours of mathematics tuition as part of their studies for teaching in a primary school.

ANN KITCHEN Research fellow Centre for maths education University of Manchester

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