Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 16:53 UK

Trainee teachers re-sitting maths

Maths
All teachers must have at least a GCSE grade C in maths

Increasing numbers of trainee teachers are having to re-sit the basic maths tests they must pass to qualify.

Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show the average number of attempts needed to pass the tests have risen by a fifth since 2001 to 1.56.

The 34,360 trainee teachers in England in 2006-7 sat a total of 53,600 basic maths tests, information from a Parliamentary written answer shows.

All teachers must pass basic skills tests in maths English, and ICT.

In order to become a qualified teacher you need at least a grade C in English and maths GCSE
Training and Development Agency for Schools

Lib Dem Schools' spokesman David Laws said: "The government will only be able to really drive-up standards in our schools if it can attract the best and the brightest to the teaching profession.

"For far too long, teaching has simply not been an occupation of choice for many graduates.

"As the number of applicants being accepted on to teaching courses rises, we need to be sure that this isn't being coupled with a decline in standards.

"The existing minimum qualifications for people wanting to become teachers are too low."

He added that the economic slowdown should be used as an opportunity to promote teaching as a profession and attract top graduates.

A spokesman for the Training and Development Agency for Schools said: "In order to become a qualified teacher you need at least a grade C in English and maths GCSE.

"Candidates for primary teaching also need a grade C or equivalent in science."

Trainees wishing to follow the postgraduate teacher training programme must have a degree, but those who do not, have to go on an undergraduate teacher training courses.

On the basic skills tests, the spokesman added: "Taking all three subject areas as a whole, the pass rate on the first attempt is on average over 83 per cent.

"While the majority of trainees pass, the tests ensure that the small number of trainees without the necessary numeracy, literacy and ICT skills cannot become qualified teachers."




SEE ALSO
Most maths teachers 'not experts'
03 Jun 08 |  Education
Maths teacher gap 'to worsen'
07 May 08 |  Education

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