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One more hurdle to cross

This year's student teachers will be tested on spelling and grammar. Karen Thornton reports

New tests on spelling, grammar and punctuation that student teachers must pass to qualify are to be taken from next month.

The tests, developed by the Teacher Training Agency and the East London Assessment Group, at a cost of pound;325,000, will run alongside similar papers on numeracy, introduced last year. And next year's students can look forward to the pleasure of a third examination, this time of their computing skills. These tests were put on hold this year, because of software problems.

The tests were introduced followin concerns about teachers' basic skills, raised in the Government's 1998 green paper.

Sample literacy and numeracy papers, now on the TTA's website, were this week road tested for The TES. All students studying in England - and expecting to qualify between May 1, 2001 and April 30 2002 - have to take the 45-minute computerised tests, at around 40 national centres. Pass rates will be around 60 per cent.

They will have four chances to pass and be awarded qualified teacher status. Last year, around 93 per cent of students successfully completed the first numeracy tests. Below are the responses from our testers.

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