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Aspiring teachers to benefit from changes to professional skills tests

The Department for Education has announced a series of changes to the professional skills tests designed to allow aspiring teachers to begin training, and make a difference in the classroom, more quickly.


School Standards Minister, Nick Gibb, announced (12 February) that thousands of would-be teachers are now eligible for three attempts at the professional skills tests they must pass to begin Initial Teacher Training (ITT) before they incur any cost, rather than one.

The tests are designed to show that candidates have the basic level of literacy and numeracy needed to teach to a national standard.

The key changes are:

  • Candidates will have unlimited attempts to achieve a test pass
  • The two-year lockout period will be removed; candidates previously locked out will be able to book tests for both subjects
  • All candidates will be able to book three tests per subject, free of charge. A charge will be applied from the fourth test attempt per subject
  • Candidates that have paid for and taken a second or third attempt at a test on or after 24 October 2017 and before 14 February 2018, will automatically receive a refund for the cost of their test.

For more information such as how to prepare or take the tests, please view our guide here. Alternatively, you can visit the Department for Education’s website for more information about the professional skills tests, recent changes and more.

If you have any questions and would like to get in touch with us, please contact us at or give us a call on +44 (0)115 848 4460.