Maths test is a breach of contract;Letter

24th December 1999 at 00:00
TO BE accepted on to a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education course this year, I was required to meet certain criteria. These included the need for a "good"degree, passing a rigorous selection interview, and providing evidence of numeracy and literacy.

It was also necessary to prove that I could afford the fees and maintenance costs, or that I qualified for local education authority grants and a student loan.

I met all the criteria, and started the course on that basis. I am now told although that I am paying for the privilege, the terms of the implied contract have been changed during the course.

The imposed numeracy test bolted-on to the end of the PGCE would appear to be a moral breach of contract, if not an actual one.

If the teaching profession was to be treated by the ethics of "joined-up" government, the trainee-teacher would be paid a salary like other professionals, and a change to their Contract of Employment would only just be acceptable.

How can any prospective teacher be certain that they will be allowed to qualify, without the goalposts being moved, and why should they risk it?

The Secretary of State must recognise the injustice of this matter of principle, and reverse the decision to impose a mandatory numeracy test for this year's PGCE students.

David R Townsend

PGCE (Business and Economics

Education)

Institute of Education

University of London

Bedford Way, London WC1 Letters sent via email

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