Fundamental English and Mathematics Proficiencies
The DfE has confirmed that applicants to teacher training programmes no longer need to pass the professional skills tests as a requirement of entry. These tests will be replaced with a new provider-led assurance of fundamental English and Mathematics. Under the new approach, ITT providers are expected to make an assessment of a candidate’s English and Mathematics knowledge before Qualified Teacher Status can be awarded. ITT providers must assure themselves that trainees have these skills. This we do both during the selection process and across the year, during the training programme.
Any work to address shortfalls in English and Mathematics must be undertaken by the applicant/Trainee teacher in addition to other aspects of the training. Providers can support candidates with acquiring these skills. Our selection processes already look for many of the proficiencies required. We take a holistic view of a candidate’s proficiencies, which will incorporate their experience, qualifications, (including degree type/class and application), performance at interview and self-declared competencies.
The requirement is that the proficiencies are assured before QTS is awarded. Therefore, there is now scope for candidates with minor gaps to develop these proficiencies over the course of the programme. Decisions on a candidates’ level of proficiency is at the professional judgment of each provider. This is also the case with other facets of the application process, e.g. whether an applicant undertakes a SKE (subject knowledge enhancement course).
What do fundamental proficiencies in English & Maths look like?
English – What we must assure
Speaking, Listening & Communicating: these are fundamental to a teacher’s role. Teachers should use standard English grammar, clear pronunciation and vocabulary relevant to the situation. To convey clarity with instructions, questions, information and concepts/ideas. Teachers should read fluently and with good understanding.
Writing: It is important that a teacher’s writing reflects the high standards of accuracy their professional role demands. Teachers should write clearly, accurately legibly and coherently using correct spelling and punctuation.
The NTTP programme will use a wide range of activities, observations and methods to assess a candidates’ fundamental proficiency and ‘sign post’ any gaps that are identified. It is the candidates’ responsibility to ensure these gaps are closed.
Mathematics – What we must assure
Teachers should use data and graphs to interpret information, identify patterns and trends and draw appropriate conclusions. Teachers should be able to solve mathematical problems using a variety of methods and approaches including estimating and rounding, sense checking answers, breaking down problems into simpler steps and explaining and justifying answers using appropriate language.
NTTP will be using a diagnostic assessment programme called ‘Elevate My Maths’. This is an on-line tool where candidates complete a diagnostic assessment based on the key maths skills required to be successful. This programme is not timed and identifies your strengths and areas for development.