Any prospective teacher that failed a skills test to take up teacher training is to be offered compensation by the Department for Education because there was an error in the marking.

It’s believed that hundreds of potential candidates failed the test and the marking error had been in place for at least 10 years.

Nick Gibb, the schools’ minister, says the error in the QTS literary skills test led to hundreds of candidates failing.

The DfE says that between September 2017 and November 2018, more than 200 candidates failed the skills test when they should have passed it.

However, 150 of those candidates later resat and passed the test.

Before a prospective teacher begins their initial teacher training, they must pass the relevant skills test in literacy and numeracy.

Expenses incurred when they retook the skills test

Mr Gibb says that the DfE will now do its utmost in contacting those affected by the error and offer them a compensation payment to cover any expenses incurred when they retook the skills test.

He added: “It’s regrettable that the error prevented candidates from progressing an application to teacher training. We are taking swift action to ensure those affected are being supported to help progress an application.”

The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) designed the skills tests and undertook a recent review of marking schemes to reveal the error.

Mr Gibb says that once the error was realised, the test was taken out of use immediately.

He added: “The STA has assured me there are no remaining marking errors and the scheme will be quality assured regularly to prevent further errors.”

Removed the test’s ‘lockout policy’

The government last year removed the test’s ‘lockout policy’ which would prevent a candidate who had failed the test three times in a row from taking part again for two years.

Any potential candidate who believes they may have been affected by the marking error should contact a helpline by emailing