UPDATED GUIDANCE FOR NUT MEMBERS ON THE QTS SKILLS TESTS
FROM SEPTEMBER 2012
The Government has introduced new arrangements for the QTS Skills Tests which will come into effect from September 2012.
Do I have to complete my skills test before starting my course?
Yes. Trainees starting an initial teacher training (ITT) course from September 2013 will be required to pass the skills tests before starting their course.
The first pre-entry test appointments will be available from 1 September 2012. The registration and booking system will be available from 1 August 2012. Trainees can book their skills test by calling the Skills Test Helpline on 0845 450 8867. They will tell you your nearest test centre and make the booking for you.
How many times can I re-sit the test?
The number of re-sits allowed will be limited to two per subject from 1 September 2012. This will apply to existing trainee teachers, as well as those who are applying for courses which will begin from 1 July 2013. Previous unsuccessful attempts by any existing trainees will not count towards this limit; any test they take from 1 September 2012 will count as their first attempt.
Candidates who fail after two re-sits in either numeracy or literacy will not be able to take any more skills tests, in either subject, for 24 months from the date of the second re-sit. From September 2012 trainees can take their skills test at any time during their course and will be encouraged not to leave it until the end.
Do I have to pay to take the skills test?
Skills tests candidates will continue to receive their first attempt at each test free of charge but will be charged for re-sits from 1 September 2012. Previous unsuccessful attempts will not count for this purpose, i.e., the first test taken on or after 1 September 2012 will always count as the first attempt. The charge will be announced by the Teaching Agency and will be levied at the time of booking a test.
Have the pass marks for the skills tests been raised?
From 1 September 2012, the pass mark for the skills tests will be raised. The changes will apply to the tests taken by all candidates, including those who started their training before 1 September 2012.
Do I still have to do the ICT skills test?
From 1 April 2012, the information and communication technology (ICT) test was removed from the skills test requirements. The recommendation for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) is no longer dependent on trainee teachers having passed the ICT test. Trainees who have already started their course and have yet to pass the ICT test will no longer be required to do so. Trainees’ results files will be updated to reflect the change.
I am training in Wales – do I need to pass the skills tests?
If you are undertaking ITT in Wales, you are not required to complete the skills tests in order to be awarded QTS.
Are there any practice materials available?
A range of interactive and paper-based practice materials are available in literacy and numeracy.They can be found at:
Practice materials for those requiring special arrangements, for example if you have a hearing impairment, are also provided. Trainees who may require reasonable adjustments to take their skills test should inform the Skills Test helpline about their particular requirements when they are booking their test.
NUT ADVICE AND GUIDANCE
If you have any concerns about the QTS skills tests, contact your local division or association secretary for advice and support.