Letters extra: the skills tests really are basic

25th May 2001 at 01:00

I am disturbed by the uproar caused by the introduction of the skills tests in literacy and numeracy, and the clamour for them to be withdrawn.

I am three weeks away from finishing my four-year primary BA (Hons) course, and I have passed both these test at my first attempt. I can by no means be classed as a mathematical genius or a literary wonder. I am increasingly aware, however, of the numbers of my peers who are unable to pass these tests.

My concern at the moment is why I cannot get a teaching post. I've passed these tests; I have been predicted a good degree; the reports from my teaching placements have been excellent; we are told there is a shortage of teachersnbsp; - so why does no-one want me? I cannot blame headteachers, though, for not considering NQTs if many of them are struggling to answer basic skills questions. Understandably, the impression given by student teachers today is really pretty poor.

I regret the current attitude by students and some lecturers to these tests which are basic and feel that it is yet another area where public perception of newly qualified teachers is once again being highlighted in a negative way.

Sarah Horwood
Worthing, West Sussexnbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;

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