Changes to professional skills tests will help talented trainees get into teaching

 Measures announced to help talented trainees get into teaching

Changes to professional skills tests will make sure the best and brightest can pursue a career in teaching.

Aspiring teachers across the country are set to benefit from a number of changes designed to allow them to begin training, and make a difference in the classroom, more quickly.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb has announced that thousands of would-be teachers are now eligible for three attempts at the professional skills tests they must pass to begin Initial Teacher Training (ITT) before they incur any cost, rather than one.

On top of this change – worth up to £77 per candidate – the government has removed the lock-out period that previously prevented candidates from re-taking tests for two years if they had been unsuccessful in two re-sits.

The changes follow feedback from the teaching profession and remove financial and administrative barriers – ensuring capable trainees do not give up on their hopes of becoming a teacher while they wait to re-take the tests.

Since the government introduced the more rigorous skills tests in 2012, the entry requirements to teacher training have remained unchanged so that only the very best and brightest enter the profession.

Today’s announcement builds on a number of measures to recruit and retain high-calibre teachers, including a £75million investment in teachers’ professional development and follows the recruitment of 32,000 new trainees in 2017.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “In 2012, the government introduced more rigorous skills tests for teachers to ensure they have the highest standards of English and maths.

“The bar for entrance to the teaching profession remains as high as ever, as parents and pupils would expect, and this is evidenced by the fact that the quality of new entrants into the profession is at an all-time high, with 19 per cent of this year’s cohort holding a first-class degree.

“It is absolutely right that aspiring teachers can begin training as soon as they prove they are ready and these changes - backed by the profession - will help ambitious graduates to join the profession.”

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