Why we need these exams

8th June 2001 at 01:00
I write in defence of literacy and numeracy tests for would-be teachers.

As managing director of an educational publishing house, I receive many letters and manuscripts from teachers and headteachers. The appalling standard of English in many of them is staggering. I see bad spelling, misuse of apostrophes and hyphens, and failure to graspeven the basics of grammar.

That the perpetrators of these missives are responsible in many cases for conducting the literacy strategy beggars belief.

My only complaint is that the tests should be carried out before training, not after, thus saving the students' time, and the country's money.

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