Letters extra: Putting the record straight

29th June 2001 at 01:00

With reference to Julie Henning's article on Private Schools offer job to test failures in the TES, 1st June, I would like to put the record straight.

Yes I have just employed an NQT who has failed her maths test to teach Religious Studies. She is an excellent candidate for teaching, has GCSE maths, and is expected to get a 2i or better degree.

She did one of her teaching practices with us and was found to be a really excellent teacher. She tells me that when required to sit the maths test, which was a computerised test, the conditions were appalling - the computer was old and people kept interrupting her train of thought. She has tried to get a job in the maintained sector but is unable to do so without the maths qualification.

It seems to me, that with the acute shortage of good young people going into the teaching, the governmentnbsp;is shooting members in the foot by insisting onnbsp;a maths qualification for anybody teaching anything other than maths and related subjects such as science, and economics.

It is therefore not surprising that the independent sector has more sense and is using the opportunity to recruit youngsters, eager and enthusiastic to do a really good job.

Rosemary Lewis
Headmistress
Burgess Hill School for Girls

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