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QTS Skills Tests to be Scrapped?

By QTS Maths Tutor|2019-10-17T15:06:54+00:00July 12th, 2019|Categories: Numeracy Skills Blog|

Do I still need to pass my QTS Skills Test? 

Yes! The urgent thing to make clear is that the QTS Skills Tests have not been scrapped yet and although they were due to finish in 2019 they have now been extended to the 2020 recruitment cycle. In July 2019, an official announcement was made regarding the QTS tests stating that they were going to bee scrapped in 2019 but the government reversed this decision and have since extended the life of the tests to the 2020 recruitment cycle. Therefore, if you are looking to start your teacher training course this year, we urge people to continue with your exam preparation to ensure you secure your place. Teacher training providers will not be in a position to accept you on to the course if you have not passed your professional skills tests.

When do you think the QTS Skills Test will be scrapped? 

It is difficult to know when the QTS skills tests will end as the department for education keep changing their mind. They initially said the skills tests would run until 2022 with a 3 year contract announced, then in July 2019 they said it would end in October 2019, then in September 2019 they extended the tests until April 2020 and since then there has been no further guidance as to what will replace the skills tests so there is a chance that the QTS tests will remain for the entire 2020 teacher training recruitment cycle.

What will replace the skills tests? 

The DfE has stated that a new accreditation scheme will take the place of the QTS skills tests in 2020. No further details of what this scheme consists of have been released other than it will try to ensure trainee teachers have the required level of maths and English. We do not yet know whether there will be a maths and English test as part of the accreditation scheme but if there is it is likely to test the same types of numeracy and literacy that are already part of the QTS test as it is widely acknowledged that the skills required to pass the QTS skills tests are useful but the administration of the tests have been poorly managed, further adding to the stress of potential trainees and training providers.

Why would they remove the QTS Skills Test? 

The DfE has come under increasing pressure to increase the number of people entering the teaching profession as in recent years application numbers have dropped. In addition to this teacher retention rates are really low which is all contributing to the teacher shortages that many areas of the country are facing. We believe that this is the single biggest reason for scrapping the tests. Other contributing factors are that there have been multiple mistakes by the QTS skills testing providers leading to incorrect results and general poor administration of the tests by the testing centres. The government has also been under pressure from the initial teacher training providers who collectively agree that the QTS skills tests add to their workload and cause additional stress fro applicants which we agree is unarguable. Most agree that the QTS skills tests required reform as they have been poorly managed but we will have to wait to see what the DfE guidelines state in terms of replacing them. There are claims that removal of the tests will result in a lowering of the bar for entrants into the teaching profession and that there will be widespread inconsistencies in who gets accepted onto the courses and who doesn’t and without a standardised test it is difficult to see how this isn’t going to be the most likely outcome which is why we think that some sort of numeracy and literacy test will replace the current QTS skills. For now, the QTS skills tests will remain and until the department of education release detailed guidelines about it’s replacement, we would not be surprised to see further extensions to the life of the test.

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