Teacher training providers call on government to scrap skills entry test

Tes reports that two bodies representing teacher training providers have called on the government to scrap a “badly managed” and “redundant” skills entry test.

The leader of the organisation representing university teacher trainers said the move could free up £15 million to be ploughed into teachers’ continuing professional development, while his opposite number representing school-based trainers said many providers currently “disregard” the test. 

Earlier this month the government announced it would be allowing unlimited resits of the professional skills tests that must be passed before anyone can enter initial teacher training.

The move was viewed as an attempt by the government to encourage more entrants into teacher training after figures released last month showed that applications for training were down by 29 per cent compared with the same time last year.

Speaking at an event in London this morning, James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers, welcomed the change. However he said the government should go further by “getting rid of skills tests altogether”.

“Most ITT providers don’t have that much confidence in what the skills tests are measuring anyway and carry out on course assessments of trainees, so why not just make that a requirement for ITT?” 

The call was backed by Emma Hollis, executive director of the National Association for Schools Based Teacher Trainers. 

“The skills tests are not diagnostic, they don’t help with where the gaps are. We diagnose gaps and we make sure that by the end of the teacher training year they are ready to hit the ground.”

Read more Teacher training providers call on government to scrap skills entry test

Do you agree that the skills test is now not needed? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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