The introduction of a practical classroom test for student teachers is an important development in education, but how exactly is it to be implemented?

Trained as a secondary school teacher 27 years ago, my classroom experience – nine weeks of a 12-month course – was always monitored by the usual teacher as well as my university supervisor. The presence of these teachers meant student behaviour was easily controlled.

Once qualified however, I failed dismally to teach in an environment conducive to learning. My classrooms were dominated by unruly students who I could not discipline.

It is imperative that any new practical test of teaching skills involves assessing student teachers without a supervisor in the class – maybe a concealed camera to ensure students are not aware of any observation. Ensuring teachers can manage students is integral to getting positive educational achievements, but classroom tests will not intrinsically be simple or straightforward unless subterfuge underpins performance assessments.

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