What teacher shortage? The numeracy test stops trainees in their tracks

Nov 23, 2015 by

As teaching faces a recruitment crisis, Holly Welham meets those failing to join the ranks because of a ‘ludicrous’ math test

Would you pass the teachers’ numeracy skills test? – quiz

Jodie Palmer has wanted to be a teacher since she was 13. But last year her dream came crashing down when she failed to pass the numeracy test. It meant the 22-year-old could no longer start her training, which she’d already secured through School Direct.

“I was heartbroken,” says Palmer, an English literature and language graduate. “I cried and cried and cried.”

She’d spent a year preparing for the exam – including taking practice tests and having one-to-one tuition – but the pressure of the mental arithmetic questions kept tripping her up. “I could do the maths, just not within the time they set,” she explains.

The numeracy test, which all aspiring trainee teachers must pass, has two parts. In the first section candidates get 11 minutes to answer 12 mental arithmetic questions, then in the second, they have 36 minutes to answer 16 written questions that cover skills such as interpreting data. It is designed to ensure all teachers have a basic competency in numeracy (there’s also a literacy test), on top of the required minimum C grade at GCSE.

Source: What teacher shortage? The numeracy test stops trainees in their tracks | Teacher Network | The Guardian

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