1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice
  3. The Teacher Q&A will be closing soon.

    If you have any information that you would like to keep or refer to in the future please can you copy and paste the information to a format suitable for you to save or take screen shots of the questions and responses you are interested in.

    Don’t forget you can still use the rest of the forums on theTes Community to post questions and get the advice, help and support you require from your peers for all your teaching needs.

    Dismiss Notice

'Unlimited resits for pre-entry tests are a step forward – but are the tests needed?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Is it time to do away with pre-entry tests after the government’s decision to relax the skill assessments for applicants to initial teacher training (ITT) programmes? Two sector leaders believe there is a case for one exam post-training:

    ‘The ending of the "three strikes and out" rule will reduce the pressure on applicants and make it more likely that they will be able to demonstrate their true ability and pass.

    Those who narrowly fail will have another chance and, crucially, none of this will be to the detriment of the literacy and numeracy skills of those entering the profession as everyone will still have demonstrated that they meet the required standard.’


    Do you think Emma Hollis, executive director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT), and James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) are right?
  2. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    I’m not a teacher (yet) but I think the skills tests are a good thing. Especially if you have been out of education for a while. However I have a sensory processing disorder which means it takes me a bit longer to work out the mental maths (even with the extra time!) so I think that element needs to be changed.
    So for me, knowing I have a few more chances at it would definitely help.
  3. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you @Gsr25 for your comment. It's interesting to read your views on this issue.
    Gsr25 likes this.
  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    The QTS test itself: the assessment, its design, its suitability as a preparation for teacher education and its general relevance to teaching is universally unpopular amongst those unfortunate enough to sit it or prepare those for sitting it. For example, Cambridge has begun to give extra time to their maths examinations on the basis that they are testing mathematic ability not mathematical ability in a time poor situation.
    Did you know that you could have an A* at GCSE, an A* at A level and a first class degree in English and still you’d have to sit the literacy test. How does that make you feel? Exactly.

    Making it harder to become a teacher was part of Gove's masterclass in making the QTS qualification redundant. Why bother if schools could hire you anyway? Well, the market spoke. Teacher qualifications are here to stay.

    The 'exam', as it is currently, is 120 mandatory days in two contrasting school placements where you have to demonstrate competency against 8 teaching standards. This is whether it is HEI, SCITT or any other course. The 'school-led' drivel is a misnomer - all trainees spend 120 days in school working as a teacher. In addition to this, most trainees opt, voluntarily and at great cost to themselves, to do a PGCE academic award as well - the standard recognised around the world. The profession values the QTS award. It values the PGCE. It opts to do these at personal cost even when politicians change the rules. It does not value the QTS tests and not one single trainee would opt to voluntarily take this test to prepare for teacher education if they did not have to.

    Finally, those people arguing for the literacy test on social media keep making literacy errors in their comments. Perhaps we should have skills tests for Twitter, Facebook and even the House of Parliament if they want to be like this.
  5. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Houses of Parliament.

    What? It was just sitting there!
  6. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    It auto corrected and I figured the Lords deserved a break.
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  7. ajrowing

    ajrowing Occasional commenter

    "Did you know that you could have an A* at GCSE, an A* at A level and a first class degree in English and still you’d have to sit the literacy test. How does that make you feel? Exactly."

    I don't have an English degree, but I had just finished a Masters which I successfully wrote up, which involved a computer model of a crystal lattice. You would hardly guess from that that I could do some quite complicated maths, had used a computer a bit and am reasonably literate. Good job there were those tests to show those things.

    Of course none of the above meant that during my PGCE I was a particularly good teacher, but time and support has developed that.
  8. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    If a candidate couldn't get past those tests in 3 attempts, I'm not sure they should be pursuing a career in teaching anyway...
    Salmz88 and Scintillant like this.
  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I agree.

    But if unqualified teachers can teach in academies, what's the point anyway?
  10. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Ok, in five seconds, correctly insert the apostrophes.

    To make it easier, I’ll let you read it. In the real test you have to listen to mathematical word questions.

    If you fail this test you are not suitable to become a teacher.


    Scientists capture exploding beetles amazing escapes from toads stomachs
  11. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Scientists capture exploding beetles' amazing escapes from toads' stomachs.


    Is that supposed to be difficult?
  12. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Or more humourously:

    Scientists capture exploding beetle's amazing escapes from toads' stomachs

    If he's a dozy beetle who keeps making the same batrachian-based mistake...
  13. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    The whole 'rampant rise of the unqualified teacher' thing is a bit of a myth.

    The 2016 Schools Workforce Census (published 2017) shows that only 5% of teachers are 'unqualified' and a fifth of these are/were studying to be awarded QTS.

    Hardly the avalanche some would have us believe...
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    5% the teaching workforce is 5% too many. There should not be a single unqualified teacher teaching in our state schools.

    It's not good enough for my child to be taught by cheap unqualified staff

    I am also unsure as to who you are quoting here: 'rampant rise of the unqualified teacher'.
  15. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I'm just para-phrasing much of the hyperbole and hysteria I read on this matter.

    I agree that in an ideal world, all would hold QTS.

    However, I also know that a lot of 'UQT's do a good job and many teach in curriculum areas where one might argue that a a high level of aptitude and subject knowledge is probably more as useful as having completed a PGCE (Drama, PE etc.).
    SomethingWicked likes this.
  16. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    So we should do away with a formal entry qualification and let anyone who shows aptitude / knowledge have a go? If it's okay for 5% then why not 10 or 20?

    I wonder how many days it would be before we have mates of the MAT trustees doing a spot of teaching, or their kids having a go?

    Having qualified teachers is not a utopian pipe dream, it's a pretty basic requirement that ought to be easily met in the sixth biggest economy in the world.
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  17. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Chill man - I basically agree with you.

    I just don't think it is as much of a problem as some others...
    SomethingWicked likes this.
  18. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    24,000 teachers accounting for more than 600,000 pupils.
  19. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    So what?

    Some of em are alright

    Chill man.
  20. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Look...I didn't appoint them all!

Share This Page