Teacher Training Tests To Be Toughened

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The Department for Education is to increase the difficulty of teacher training literacy and numeracy tests in an attempt to ensure the highest quality of education.

In a move that Schools Minister Nick Gibb says is "key to raising the quality and standing of the teaching profession", prospective teachers will see pass thresholds raised and the introduction of a cap on resits.

Currently, there are an unlimited number of resits a trainee teacher can take to pass the exams and, with only "one in five" failing one of the tests at least once, the government believes that it is time to revisit the system.

In one change, there will be a cap of two resits per test for each candidate and a version of the test will be administered prior to the beginning of their course.

The first batch of trainees to take the new exams will be those training in September 2013, in time for the 2014 intake of new teachers to take the reformed entrance tests.

The review will be headed by the Skills Test Review Group, who previously consulted on the Review of Teachers' Standards.

Its chair, Sally Coates, who is Principal at London's Burlington Danes Academy, expressed that the organisation was "delighted" to be involved with the review.

The Group, which will look into more demanding tests, their content, difficulty and means of assessment, will publish its report at the end of June 2012.

Last year the government set out its strategy for 'training our next generation of outstanding teachers', which included reforms to the teacher training process as well as the announcement of £20,000 bursaries for top graduates looking to go into teaching.

The review will add to the growing list of educational reforms under the stewardship of Education Secretary Michael Gove, which have seen the introduction of free schools and the expansion of academy schemes.