A blog for students on the FDLT and BALT courses at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

News about the QTS Skills Test


You may be aware that aspiring teachers have to sit the QTS Skills Tests in English and mathematics. Until recently if a test is failed three times the applicant would be locked out from retaking it for two years. This week a change has been announced. 

You can read the article in Schools Week here

“Currently, anyone who fails the compulsory numeracy and literary skills test three times in a row is banned from taking it again for 24 months. The rule was introduced in 2012 as a quality filter, but critics say it deepens the growing teacher recruitment crisis.

Now trainees will get an unlimited number of attempts at the test, and won’t even have to pay for their first two retakes, after the the government announced it will remove some of the charges that teachers pay.

Whereas trainees previously had to pay for any attempt after their first, the test will now be free for trainees on their second and third attempts too, saving them up to £77 each.

Refunds will also be given to anyone who has already paid to take the test since October 24 last year.”

(Whittaker, 2018, lines 12-23)

The article was updated today with this information:

“Update: The government has also confirmed that trainee teachers currently banned from retaking the test will be free to do so from Thursday, and will be contacted shortly to be notified that their account has been unlocked.” 

(Whittaker, 2018, lines 53-55)

This will affect students currently in the BALT year who have recently taken the skills tests and those who plan to soon. It will also affect those who failed the test and were locked out.


Whittaker, F. (2018) QTS skills test: Lock-out period and retake charges scrapped. [online] Available from: https://schoolsweek.co.uk/qts-skills-test-lock-out-period-and-re-take-charges-scrapped/ [Accessed 13/02/18]

Author: Jean

Senior Lecturer, Education at the University of Northampton. Admissions Tutor for the Foundation Degree Learning and Teaching.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.