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Changes to the Skills tests!

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by masamune1989, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. This has worried me a little as well as I will have to work harder on my maths than I expected. I don't see how they can change it when it's been on the tda for a while now that the changes to resits is for 2013 then pooooof now it's not.... Surely if it's changed to two resits per subject then you get three chances not two? First attempt, resit one, resit two? I don't like the idea that my first attempt is counted as a resit when I've never done it before.
  2. Hi
    I have just read the above posts. I start my course in September 2012,and like someone else on here thought the re-sits would come into force in September 2013. Very worried now, as i will have to work extra hard on my Maths.
    Claire x
  3. StarbabyCat

    StarbabyCat New commenter

    You and me both! I'm poor at maths...I got a C at GCSE but I had to work very hard to get in and I have subsequently forgotten everything. But since I got my offer in January I've been practising and I feel far more confident than before. My mental maths was my particular bug bear, but now its the second half of the test that seems more difficult. On the online tests I'm close to passing. Thats my worry, to be so close then fail....twice. I'm not doing a primary PGCE by the way, like masamune I'm doing Secondary History. Not much maths involved there!
  4. Good! Because I suck at ICT!


  5. I have to confess it is troubling me a bit as well.

    My Maths dates back to Grade B 'O' Level in 1981 !!!

    I've been looking at the practice questions - particularly the 'stats and graphs section - and I swear some of that stuff handn't been invented then !

    Sill on the otherhand - with the PGCE application process apparently becoming tougher than ever, if we've come this far to get on the course I'd like to think that with a bit of practice we won't be deterred by this latest obstacle.

    Fingers crossed ..
  6. brighton56

    brighton56 Occasional commenter

    What will happen to students who fail the QTS tests more than three times if they are in the middle of a BEd degree?
    I know several friends who are currently 3rd year students and in September 2012 they will enter their 4th and final year. Would this therefore mean that students may have spent 4 years training, got themselves into £30, 000 debt and still come out with no QTS?
    Something is seriously wrong here. I know ALL teachers should have good numeracy and literacy skills but it is possible that one or two potential 'outstanding' teachers may fail the new tests and will therefore not be allowed to gain qts.
  7. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Which sounds pretty good to me.

    Honestly guys, these tests are trivial. More than 60% of the school leavers of every comprehensive school in the country should pass them without a second thought. No "outstanding" teacher (or any other kind) should have any problem with them at all.

    The only test that was an issue was the old ICT one, which has now been removed, as it was utterly unrepresentative of any software package you were ever likely to meet of have met and required quite a bit of practice to deal with.

    But the numeracy? Come on!

    It's all trivial stuff. There's no "mental maths" (as you have a pad and paper or a whiteboard you can use to work stuff out on) and the hardest part, the statistics, not only is something taught to 15 year olds in a single lesson but, frankly with a 63% pass mark, you can get all wrong and still pass anyway.

    When you get your QTS (and before that, during your training), you're going to be preparing kids for tests that are harder than these (at least you will if you're teaching KS2 and up), so the idea that they're a barrier to an "outstanding" teacher is a joke.
  8. In short, yes. They would still be able to gain a BEd degree, but would be prevented from being recommended for QTS they could, in theory, work in the private sector or at a free school (neither of which require QTS, though more and more private schools are now asking for QTS).
    The Sage

  9. nandos33

    nandos33 New commenter

    Are there any materials out there to help prepare for the tests, apart from the online ones? I've got the QTS book for numeracy and done all the tests already so I'd like to know if there was anything else.
    I am not great at maths, my main worry is the fact that the mental arithmetic questions are aural, you don't even have the question in front of you! This is very hard, to have got through an application process that is pretty demanding, and then find that you fail due to a maths test - not entirely convinced that it's going to make any difference to my abilities as an English teacher!
    But on the bright side - surely if teaching is going to be a high profile profession now, attracting only the very best graduates, which is partly what all these tests etc are about, it's just a matter of time before our salaries are raised to the levels of the other professions??? ha ha ha...
  10. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    In the test you will either have a pad & paper or a mini whiteboard and marker.

    During the first reading of the question, write the question down.

    Then slip the headphones down your neck so you're not distracted by the noise and work out the answers.

    No "mental arithmetic" involved. You can do it all on paper.
    As you will find out, the pay isn't the issue. The workload is the problem.
  11. nandos33

    nandos33 New commenter

    Thanks PaulDG, I feel a bit reassured - though will be spending the summer revising my maths!! [​IMG]
  12. I wish I could spend the summer revising, instead I will be writing my MA dissertation.... Im hoping that with the changes that are being made, the course providers will be giving us lessons later in the year if we attempt it and fail. I know a few people who have done the tests though and they said that the actual test isnt half as bad as the online ones... Time will tell but I think its rather silly that as a history teacher, should I fail a maths test twice I have to give up and do the whole thing again the year after (sure you should still be able to pass the placements and then get QTS the year after once you pass the test?).
  13. StarbabyCat

    StarbabyCat New commenter

    I completely agree. I've heard that about the tests being easier than the practise ones too. To those who say its easy; well you're very lucky. It's not like that for everyone!
  14. I think someone mentioned this earlier but as far I understand you would have to fail three times, one initial test and the two resits, makes it slightly easier.
  15. Is the above post absolutely right? You take the test once, and should you fail, you can have 2 resits?

    Claire x
  16. If you google TDA skills tests it takes you to the archived page on the DfE website (now the TDA is gone). It says there two resits per subject will be allowed. I remember the initial white paper saying this too.
  17. sparkleshine

    sparkleshine New commenter

    Yes, I remember this too. It's worth mentioning that these proposals have been available for a few months now on the DfE website and mentioned in the news and it's our own responsibility as potential teachers to keep up with changes in government policy that might affect us (usually for the worst...good old Tories). Thanks for posting this though, Sagacious - it's very useful to know that it's now set in stone and I'm sure a lot of people weren't aware. In the next couple of years training is going to be made almost completely school-based as well (I suspect the government have a fear that teacher training universities are a hotbed of left-wing radical ideas...ha), so it's really all change!
    I have a place for Primary so quite frankly I should really be able to pass my skills tests in 3 attempts or it's pretty worrying consider I have to teach both english and maths. I feel a lot worse for those teaching unrelated secondary subjects with regard to the maths tests - seems a bit harsh that an art or english teacher will have to pass maths in 3 goes. Better get practising in the next few months to make sure I'm familiar with how the tests work. Good luck to everyone else as well!
  18. I am applying for teaching training in October (for 2013 entry) does this mean I sit the tests in august/September time? And if I pass both tests but fail to get on to a pgce does this mean the tests still stand if I reapply the following year? This all sounds a bit scary...not only do you have to pass but surely if they're using them for selection criteria the egret mark you have the more likely you are to get on the course?!!
  19. sparkleshine

    sparkleshine New commenter

    If you look at this link it explains http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/careers/traininganddevelopment/qts/b00204001/qts-tests You can register from August 1st to take the tests and can actually sit them from September 1st.
    You will have to pass them to get on the course, but as far as I know there is only a pass/fail grade and no marks as such. Many providers (for primary especially) for a long time have had their own subject tests at interview to select candidates so this shouldn't be anything too new. You should know if you have a place on the course by August/September time so you'll be taking the tests once your place is confirmed anyway.

  20. It's only just hit me that the 2012-2013 students will be the only ones who risk losing £9,000 for nothing, previous students have paid £3,500 for unlimited attempts and future students won't pay any tuition fee until after they have passed the test. Am I the only person who finds this highly unfair?

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