A LEADING Scottish children's charity has backed calls for primary school teachers to have improved skills in maths and science.

Children in Scotland said increasing expertise in the primary sector was crucial and could be done through specific qualifications or work experience.

It comes after educationalist Keir Bloomer called for primary teachers to be qualified in science and maths subjects to improve lessons.

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Jackie Brock, chief executive of Children in Scotland, said: "We support the call to increase the skills and expertise of our education workforce with regards to science and mathematics. This could be done through qualifications, but it could also be achieved through good quality, accredited on-the-job training. If we want Scotland to be world leading in science and technology we need to foster an interest at school level."

Mr Bloomer, who is today addressing a national conference on numeracy organised by Children in Scotland in Glasgow, will warn that Scotland is falling behind other countries in subjects such as science and mathematics.

He said: "No society can be successful in the 21st century without numerate and scientifically literate citizens and a workforce containing enough people capable of operating near the cutting edge of knowledge. We desperately need an effective strategy for numeracy and great ambition in relation to mathematics.

"A good starting place might be to insist on more appropriate maths and science qualifications for those entering primary teaching."