Receiving your Conditional Offer (Part 6)

Link to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.

So you were accepted to college but with some conditions. The UCAS site will detail the conditions. With my daughter studying teaching it came with some extra hoops to jump through, such as:

  1. Numeracy Professional skills test.
  2. 20 days experience in UK school.
  3. DBS – UK background check (because she will be working with children)

Numeracy Professional skills test – Wikipedia says “computer-based tests in literacy and numeracy which must be passed by anyone attempting to gain qualified teacher status (QTS) in England. The tests must be passed before enrolling onto an initial teacher training course, such as the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), or the Bachelor of Education (BEd).

The goal of the tests is to “assess the core skills that teachers need to fulfil their professional role in schools, rather than the subject knowledge needed for teaching,” and “to ensure all teachers are competent in numeracy and literacy, regardless of their specialism.

There are online practice tests to help you, and part of the test is a mental arithmetic section where you have to do math in your head under a time constraint. They are very strict when it comes to identification of yourself and making sure you do not have any hearing devices on your glasses or in your ears. Just a warning, they are very hot on making sure you are who you say you are and that you have the correct forms of identification. Your name on documents must match exactly your name and my daughter fell foul of that one when the UCAS acceptance document only gave first letter of her first name instead of it being fully spelled out and they would not accept it.

20 days experience in UK school – All applicants, not just international students, must have experience in a UK school. Fortunately in the UK schools only have a 6 week summer break, and although they do have about the same number of schools days as in the US they are spread out over the year. In the UK teachers have a maximum of 6 weeks before getting a week off. This did mean that my daughter could fly to the UK the day after graduating in early June and have 4 weeks volunteering in a UK school to meet the 20 day requirement. Phew. My daughter was in the UK for 6 weeks so she could also get the Numeracy Professional skills test done. She passed first time.

DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This cannot actually be done till you have an address in the UK. The college accepted my daughter without this condition being met as we provided a FBI background check as an alternative, but they still had to do a DBS check once she arrived at college. It is a government requirement, even though we knew nothing would come up as she has never lived in the UK.

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