Talking point

27th February 2004 at 00:00
Diane Hargreaves, maths teacher at Heathcote school, Chingford: "The proposal to pay maths teachers more suits me, but other teachers work as hard as we do, so I don't think it would be fair. I also agree that the GCSE needs to change. I teach the foundation group. Knowing that the highest they can get is a D doesn't motivate them enough. If they could aim towards a C it would be better."

Simon Mathers, deputy in maths at Parklands high, Liverpool: "I don't think making maths a double GCSE is a good idea. Let's keep the broad curriculum.

We've already got double English and double science. If we have double maths as well that's six GCSEs. It's not a broad enough basis for life.

"I don't think the GCSE should be changed. If they're getting A* and not being stretched enough, they can move on to AS and A levels, then they'll get stretched. We seem to expect so much from kids these days."

Tom Swarbrick, head of maths at Abraham Moss high, Manchester: "Waiving the fees for undergraduates is a good idea. Getting good-quality graduates from what I call good universities isn't easy these days. I'm fortunate in my department. I went to Leeds, but you wouldn't get a maths graduate from Leeds these days. They go into IT, business, accountancy, or law."

Phil Cooper, head of maths at Highlands school, in Enfield: "There's still not enough would-be teachers doing the maths PGCE. All those extra incentives haven't worked. Waiving the fees for maths degrees might possibly be the way to go, but a lot of maths teachers don't have straightforward maths degrees anyway."

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