Set skills tests at start of training

9th September 2005 at 01:00
Having having just qualified and passed the skills tests for trainee teachers myself, there are some points I would like to raise ("Trainees try and try again in tests", TES, August 19).

The skills tests are not hard but do require basic understanding and some aptitude.

However, the ICT test is strange as it uses unusual and unfamiliar procedures that don't exist in real life. The test environment is a bit bizarre. However, candidates can practise online.

Teachers should be competent in these basic areas and should be tested on them in some way. But it would be better if trainees had to pass the tests before starting their teacher-training courses.

Passing skills tests is an integral part of achieving qualified teacher status. Anyone not passing the tests should not be paid at the same rates as a teacher with QTS, otherwise it is just undermining the professional status of teachers.

The article also showed a picture of a design and technology teacher (who had struggled to pass the numeracy test). Surely numeracy skills are required for her subject?

Matt Moore 5 Arnian Court Middlewood Road, Aughton Ormskirk, Lancashire

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