Trainees boycott maths tests

25th February 2000 at 00:00
STUDENTS at Britain's largest postgraduate teacher-training centre are to boycott the first round of numeracy tests for trainee teachers this summer.

The action at London University's Institute of Education comes after the Government's introduction of the tests - which are being launched in June - was branded "disgusting" by student union leaders.

The tests, which all students have to pass to qualify, were announced after many had signed up for this year's courses.

Students narrowly voted not to attend the first sitting of the tests on June 1 but will take resits in July - their only chance to pass before starting their induction year. If they then fail in three further tests in the next year, they will lose their jobs.

Neek Alyani, president of the nstitute's students' union, said: "There is an overwhelming feeling of disgust among students concerning the introduction of the numeracy test.

"As this was not a formal requirement when we started the course, we feel the goal-posts have been changed unfairly during the course of the match."

Mr Alyani said that the difficulty of the tests was not an issue for many students, although they were unhappy that, in a one-year course, there was no time for revision. The fact that a pass mark had not yet been set was also causing concern.

He added: "People on the course here have GCSE maths, some of them even have maths degrees.

"The Government is downgrading the quality of degrees and downgrading the quality of GCSEs by imposing this test on us."


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