Letters extra: students in Wales still face skills tests

20th July 2001 at 01:00

I have read in The TES about the problems facing student teachers taking thenbsp;skills (QTS) tests. I am a primary BEd student and have just completed my second yearnbsp;in Wales. Your paper has printed letters which point out (on a seemingly regular basis) that NQTs trained in Wales will not have to sit QTS exams, but will be able to teach in England without having passed them. I want to set the record straight on behalf of myself and other student teachers in Wales.

It is true that the QTS exams are not compulsory in Wales, but many trainers agree with the principle of ensuring that trainees are of a certain standard. I am training at Trinity College in Carmarthen. Here, despite what many people in England may believe, we are asked to do more than the current QTS requirements in England. We will not achieve QTS at the end of our degree unless we have achieved the college's QTS requirements in English, maths, science and ICT.

Not all of us will be able to find work in Wales (we do not have a primary teacher shortage here) so many of us will look for work in England. Unfortunately, due to publicity surrounding the non-compulsory nature of QTS testing in Wales, we are already hearing stories of NQTs being forced (after meeting the strict QTS requirements in four different subjects) to sit the English-standard QTS tests as well, before being allowed to take up posts in England.

So, who is worse off now?

(name and address supplied)nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;

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