Personality goes a long way if you want to teach

5th March 2010 at 00:00

More teaching hopefuls will be picked through personality and aptitude tests in individual subjects, it has emerged.

Following a successful pilot scheme, the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) plans a more extensive use of psychometric tests to see whether applicants have the right blend of "empathy, communication and resilience" for the profession, its chief executive has told The TES.

In future, rather than a general marketing campaign to attract all teachers, graduates will be targeted via the degree they have studied, and the TDA will have a more visible presence on university campuses.

Numbers on PGCE courses have been cut because of falling rolls in schools, and TDA chief executive Graham Holley said this made the psychometric tests even more important. "We have to know how good entrants are," he said. "The pilots, at the Institute of Education and Edge Hill, have been a really useful diagnostic tool."

The TDA will change its marketing this year so it targets maths and science graduates, where there are still "enduring difficulties" getting people to train.

The current advertising, which appears on TV, posters and the internet, will continue and there will still be three big recruitment fairs in London, Manchester and Birmingham. The TDA will also target people through internet forums, YouTube and Facebook.

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