Fast-track plans don't add up

17th November 2000 at 00:00
THE Government appears to have scored a spectacular own goal with its proposals for the fast tracking of trainees into teaching.

One of the minimum criteria is the need to have 22 UCAS points. However, there is strong evidence that including a science or mathematics subject in your A-levels will effectively reduce your eventual UCAS points score by up to 2 or 3 points each time.

Setting a general minimum of 22 will therefore discriminate against the very graduates we arealready so short of - namely science and mathematics.

The criteria mean that candidates who, for example, have first or upper second-class chemistry or physics or mathematics degrees but who started their undergraduate course with, say, two Cs and a B will be rejected and that the new courses will fill the places with even more history or English graduates. How bizarre!

Rod Bramald

Teacher trainer

Department of Education

University of Newcastle

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