In order to recommend trainee teachers for QTS, providers must be sure that they have the required Fundamental English and Mathematics skills. The DfE set out (in C1.3) the areas in which trainee teachers must demonstrate competence:

English Fundamental AssessmentMathematics Fundamental Assessment
Speaking, listening and communicating are fundamental to a teacher’s role. Teachers should use the following:

  • standard English grammar

  • clear pronunciation

  • vocabulary relevant to the situation to convey instructions, questions, information, concepts and ideas with clarity

  • read fluently and with good understanding.

Writing by teachers will be seen by colleagues, pupils and parents and, as such, it is important that a teacher’s writing reflects the high standards of accuracy their professional role demands. Teachers should:

  • write clearly and accurately using standard English grammar

  • write legibly and coherently using correct spelling and punctuation.

Teachers should use the following:

  • data and graphs to interpret information

  • identify patterns and trends and draw appropriate conclusions.

Teachers need to:

  • interpret pupil data and understand statistics and graphs in the news, academic reports and relevant papers

  • complete mathematical calculations fluently with whole numbers, fractions, decimals and percentages

  • solve mathematical problems using a variety of methods and approaches including: estimating and rounding, sense checking answers, breaking down problems into simpler steps

  • explaining and justifying answers using appropriate language.

Under the DfE criteria for English and Mathematics fundamental skills, it is the trainee teacher’s responsibility to address gaps in knowledge, while as the training provider it is PLS’s responsibility that we assure that the trainee teacher has secured the fundamental skills in English and Mathematics. Therefore it is crucial that trainee teachers develop a knowledge and understanding of the skills required even before beginning the teacher training programme.