Trainee teachers in NSW will have to pass a tough literacy and numeracy test before they head out into classrooms.
Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has announced separate literacy and numeracy trial tests for teacher education students at NSW universities will be trialled in August and rolled out from mid 2015.
The test is part of the government’s plan to lift teaching standards in the state, amid concerns some new teachers struggle to explain maths and grammar concepts to their students.
‘We have great teachers in NSW and now we are taking further steps to improve the quality of teaching for the next generation of teachers,’ Mr Piccoli said in a statement on Wednesday.
He said all trainee teachers would need to pass the tests before undertaking their final practicum.
The test will be quite difficult and complex, but students would be able to sit it as many times as necessary, Mr Piccoli said.
‘Lawyers do it, accountants do it, doctors do it, and we’re doing a similar thing in education. To be registered and accredited to teach in New South Wales you need to have passed this literacy and numeracy test,’ Mr Piccoli told ABC Radio.
The online tests, which may include a writing exercise along with fundamental literacy and numeracy skills, are being developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).
NSW will be be the first state to trial the test.