All trainee teachers are required to pass skills tests in numeracy, literacy and information and communication technology (ICT) before they can be recommended for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS).
- The tests cover the core skills that teachers need to fulfil their wider professional role in schools, rather than the subject knowledge required for teaching. This is to ensure all teachers are competent in numeracy, literacy and ICT, regardless of their specialism.
- The tests do not replace the GCSE grade C equivalence entry requirement
- The length of the tests and questions are appropriate for key skills level 2/3.
- Test questions in all three skills areas are set in the context of the professional role of a teacher. All questions have been written using real data and information which teachers are likely to use.
- The tests are computerised and can be taken at any of approximately 150 test centres throughout the UK.
- All three skills tests must be successfully completed before QTS can be awarded.
Please note: the requirement to take the QTS skills tests is only applicable to candidates undertaking their initial teacher training (ITT) in England.
The tests and the questions within them, go through a stringent quality assurance procedure involving external panels of representatives from ITT providers, teachers and external bodies. The tests are extensively trialled and piloted and the performance of each test is continually monitored.
Guidance, support and special arrangements
Trainees are encouraged to take the tests in the early stages of their course. The TDA has developed guidance and support materials to help trainees pass the tests; providers should also offer support and monitor progress. If any trainee experiences difficulty taking a test and has needs that entitle them to reasonable adjustments, they can apply for special arrangements.