One in four maths teachers in England is not a specialist in the subject, government-funded research has found.
A study by the National Foundation for Educational Research into the teaching of maths and science found that in both subjects schools had problems recruiting staff.
The study examined staffing in maths and science departments at one in four of England’s maintained secondary schools.
A specialist was defined as those with a degree in the subject they taught or those who had studied the subject as part of their initial teacher training.
Schools minister Jacqui Smith said there was “an historic shortage” of qualified maths and science teachers.
She said targets for recruiting new science and maths teachers were now being exceeded.