Minimum Core Skills


All teachers should have a knowledge and understanding of literacy, language, numeracy, and information and communication technology (ICT) skills. 

These are known as the minimum core skills.  

Demonstrating proficiency of these skills will help ensure you carry out your role professionally, and support your learners adequately with their skills in these areas. 


  • Reading lists for the minimum core can be found by clicking here.
  • Resources to support teachers and learners of the teaching qualifications can be found by clicking here

A few resources to help you with the minimum core are available to purchase, with immediate download upon checkout. Just scroll down this page.

The following text is adapted from the book in the picture.


If you are taking a teaching qualification, for example the Certificate or Diploma in Education and Training, you are required to demonstrate the minimum core skills throughout your teaching practice. 

If you wish to apply for QTLS status, you will need to evidence your literacy and numeracy skills to at least level two. 

However, the minimum core should really apply to everyone, not just those taking a teaching qualification or applying for QTLS status.


All trainers, assessors and anyone who supports the teaching, learning and assessment process should ideally be proficient in the minimum core skills.

Some ways of demonstrating the four minimum core skills include:

  • Literacy – reading, writing, checking spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax of own and learners’ work
  • Language – speaking and listening
  • Numeracy – carrying out calculations, interpretations, evaluations and measurements
  • ICT – using: e-learning activities, a virtual learning environment (VLE), e-mails, apps, video conferencing, digital devices, software and programs.

Developing and improving your minimum core skills will enable you to consider how to best teach your subject in ways that also support the development of your learners’ skills in these areas. You may need to be prepared to meet the needs of your learners whose levels of literacy, language, numeracy and ICT skills might otherwise jeopardise or hinder their learning. You can read about embedding these skills during your sessions here.

As a teacher, trainer and/or assessor, you need to ensure your own skills are adequate, to help improve those of your learners. For example, you might encourage your learners to use various aspects of new technology, but not feel confident at using them yourself. You might like to take additional training, for example, if your computer skills need further development or you feel your spelling and grammar need improving. The FELTAG Report Paths forward to a digital future for Further Education and Skills (2014) recommends an increase in the use of technology. When teaching, your learners will trust and believe you, for example, if you are spelling words wrongly in a handout or a presentation, your learners might think the spelling is correct, just because you are their teacher. There are some links towards the end of this article which you might find helpful.


Here is an example taken from Gravells A & Simpson S (2014) The Certificate in Education and Training (the book at the top of this page) regarding demonstrating the minimum core skills towards the unit: Planning to meet the needs of learners in education and training:

Literacy

Reading relevant internal and external guidance to ascertain the requirements for initial and diagnostic assessment. Reading the syllabus or qualification handbook and making notes regarding what will be delivered and assessed. Completing templates and forms, checking spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax.

Language

Speaking to learners about their individual needs. Asking questions to ascertain a learner’s prior knowledge and experience, and listening to their responses. Listening to questions and answering them appropriately.

Numeracy

Calculating how long initial and diagnostic assessment activities will take, and the time it will take to ascertain and interpret the results. Working out how many sessions and hours will be required when devising a scheme of work. Planning how long various teaching, learning and assessment activities will take.

ICT

Preparing online materials and uploading them to a virtual learning environment (VLE) or other accessible online system. Using a word processor or other application to create handouts and resources. Devising electronic presentations and resources. Using e-mail or social networking to communicate appropriately. Using new technology to support particular learning needs.


Here is an example taken from Gravells A & Simpson S (2014) The Certificate in Education and Training (the book at the top of this page).

It's regarding demonstrating the minimum core skills towards the CET unit: Planning to meet the needs of learners in education and training:

Literacy

Reading relevant internal and external guidance to ascertain the requirements for initial and diagnostic assessment. Reading the syllabus or qualification handbook and making notes regarding what will be delivered and assessed. Completing templates and forms, checking spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax.

Language

Speaking to learners about their individual needs. Asking questions to ascertain a learner’s prior knowledge and experience, and listening to their responses. Listening to questions and answering them appropriately.

Numeracy

Calculating how long initial and diagnostic assessment activities will take, and the time it will take to ascertain and interpret the results. Working out how many sessions and hours will be required when devising a scheme of work. Planning how long various teaching, learning and assessment activities will take.

ICT

Preparing online materials and uploading them to a virtual learning environment (VLE) or other accessible online system. Using a word processor or other application to create handouts and resources. Devising electronic presentations and resources. Using e-mail or social networking to communicate appropriately. Using new technology to support particular learning needs.


  • Reading lists for the minimum core can be found by clicking here.
  • Resources to support teachers and learners of the teaching qualifications can be found by clicking here


Useful weblinks:

BBC - online English and maths support

BBC - online ICT learning

Citizen maths - Brush up on your maths for free

Digital Unite - Guides to using ICT

Free online English audit

Free online maths audit

Free initial assessment for using technology

MEI - innovators in mathematics education

A free guide from the Education and Training FoundationMinimum Core Guidance (2016) can be accessed at the shortcut https://goo.gl/Th9vp4


Minimum core resources available for immediate download


Minimum core personal skills checklist (£2.00)

(Ref ATMC01)

A comprehensive 3 page checklist containing all the personal skills which a teacher (who is working towards the Certificate or Diploma/Cert Ed/PGCE) must demonstrate for literacy, language, numeracy and ICT.

This document is in Word to enable text to be added easily and is available for immediate download. Scroll to the end of this page for information leaflets regarding the minimum core for each unit of the qualification.


Information leaflet - The Minimum Core of Planning (£1.50) 
(Ref C9010)

4 pages covering:
· What is the minimum core?  ·  Recognised qualifications  · Demonstrating the minimum core  · Evidencing the minimum core when planning: literacy, language, numeracy and ICT · Improving personal skills · Reading list · Website list


Information leaflet - The Minimum Core of Delivering education and training (£1.50) 
(Ref C9022)

5 pages covering: 
· What is the minimum core?  ·  Recognised qualifications  · Demonstrating the minimum core  · Evidencing the minimum core when delivering education and training: literacy, language, numeracy and ICT · Improving personal skills · Reading list · Website list


Information leaflet - The Minimum Core of Assessment (£1.50) 
(Ref C9017)

5 pages covering: 
· What is the minimum core?  ·  Recognised qualifications  · Demonstrating the minimum core  · Evidencing the minimum core when assessing learners: literacy, language, numeracy and ICT · Improving personal skills · Reading list · Website list


Information leaflet - The Minimum Core of Resources (£1.50) 
(Ref C9014)

5 pages covering:
· What is the minimum core?  ·  Recognised qualifications  · Demonstrating the minimum core  · Evidencing the minimum core when using resources: literacy, language, numeracy and ICT · Improving personal skills · Reading list · Website list