16 Jul 2019
MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, today (16 July) welcomes the announcement from the Department for Education (DfE) that the current skills tests for applicants to enrol on initial teacher training programmes are unfit for purpose and will be removed. In their place will be a system better able to assess literacy and numeracy competencies against the real-world skills required for modern teaching.
Through its Deans of Education network MillionPlus has long campaigned for change and the group has been active in helping the DfE create a new system, designed to ensure that standards are not just maintained but increased – with the added benefit of helping remove a very real barrier to recruitment.
Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:
“Skills tests have acted as a barrier for many who wanted to become teachers, both in terms of the problematic nature of the tests themselves and the increasingly difficult logistics of finding a time and a place around the country for people to sit them. More fundamentally, they also fail to test the most relevant literacy and numeracy skills that teachers need, in favour of arbitrary questions that served only to demonstrate an applicant’s ability to pass a skills test.
“Today’s announcement is welcome - we are very pleased that the DfE has listened to the professional views expressed and worked with us to find a solution that is best for everyone. Under the new system we expect the recruitment of high-quality applicants to rise, which will be highly beneficial to schools and pupils across England.”
Notes to editors