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Teachers: Mathematics

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what the minimum level qualification in mathematics is for a qualified teacher of mathematics in a (a) primary and (b) secondary school; (206351)

(2) what estimate he has made of the average level qualification in mathematics of recently qualified teachers of mathematics in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools.

The minimum qualification level required of someone entering initial teacher training (ITT) is an equivalent to a grade C GCSE in English and mathematics. Those training to teach pupils aged three to 11 must additionally have reached this standard in a science subject. This minimum standard must be reached in order to train for the primary or secondary phase and in any subject, At the end of their training, all trainees must pass the skills tests in numeracy, literacy and ICT and be awarded Qualified Teacher Status before they can be classed as a qualified teacher.

The 2002 Secondary School Curriculum and Staffing Survey reported that 42 per cent. of maths teachers had a relevant degree in the subject they taught and 76 per cent. had a relevant post A-level qualification. The 2007 report will be published on 29 May providing an update on these figures, There are no comparable data available for primary teachers.

It is not possible to make an estimate of average mathematics qualifications of new teachers. Those who trained as undergraduates may have gained a mathematics degree as part of their ITT programme; some trainees may have mathematics-related qualifications that are not collected in the application process and others may have gained a Postgraduate Certificate of Education in mathematics as part of their ITT.