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This report examines the practice of testing the literacy and numeracy of candidates for entry to Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses in Wales.

It also examines the availability and suitability of tests for testing literacy and numeracy skills equivalent to a Grade B at GCSE level and assesses future options for equivalency testing.  

Providers, stakeholders and candidates perceive the Grade B requirement to be a barrier to recruitment and a contributor to the fall in ITE applicant numbers although the evidence for this is anecdotal. The number of applicants without a Grade B in English and maths is not recorded systematically by providers.

Entry requirements for ITE in Wales are well understood by providers and stakeholders but are not always clear to candidates – some were not aware of the Grade B requirement nor the different options for sitting an equivalency test until they had received a conditional offer by their provider.

A total of 214 candidates for 2017/18 entry sat English equivalency tests and 286 sat mathematics equivalency tests.  Apart from one, all providers have developed or commissioned their own English and maths equivalency tests.  Two ITE providers used private sector providers prior to developing their own tests.

Almost all ITE provider staff are in favour of introducing some form of national equivalency test.  Stakeholders also acknowledge the need for consistency, but a few stressed the need for proportionality in the context of teacher recruitment challenges.


Study into a National Equivalency Entry Test for Initial Teacher Education candidates , file type: PDF, file size: 3 MB

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David Roberts

Telephone: 0300 062 5485

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau a gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls and correspondence in Welsh.


Telephone: 0300 025 8099

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh.