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Trainee tests put paid to hopes of teaching

I have a first-class honours degree and an MA, and decided that a career change from credit management to history teaching would help an under-staffed profession and allow me to use my skills in a new venture.

As I do not have the relevant maths GCSE and suffer from a fear of anything looking remotely like an equation, I was doubtful about the maths test offered as an alternative to GCSE for mature entrants to the profession. However, having been sent a sample of the test, I decided I could get the required 50 per cent and applied for a place on this autumn's course.

However, I have since looked t the sample of the numeracy tests for trainee teachers on the Department for Education and Employment's website. The speed at which the questions have to be answered, plus the type of questions, fills me with dread. I cannot pass that test.

Thus it is that a well-qualified applicant who would like to teach history to A-level and has excellent management and IT skills as well as a postgraduate degree is now not going to continue with an application for a PGCE. No wonder heads are having trouble recruiting well-qualified teachers.

Carolyn Downs 6 Cumberland View Road Heysham, Lancashire

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