The government has revamped the tests taken by trainee teachers in England in order to raise standards in the profession.
Those with an eye on teaching vacancies will now sit new, more challenging tests in English, maths and reasoning before they can start their training.
Currently, around 98 per cent of trainees pass the exams but it is anticipated that this level will fall when the new rules come into force.
It comes at the same time that the government is conducting an overhaul of the examination system by replacing GCSEs with the English Baccalaureate, with a view to increasing the calibre of school leavers.
"The evidence from around the world is clear - rigorous selection of trainee teachers is key to raising the quality and standing of the teaching profession," commented education secretary Michael Gove.
"These changes will mean that parents can be confident that we have the best teachers coming into our classrooms."
From September next year, the pass marks in the English and maths exams for teachers will be raised and calculators will be banned. A new test for verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning will also be introduced. All three elements will have to be passed in order for a candidate to progress.
And, as of this September, trainees have already been limited to two re-sits for each test.
Principal at Burlington Danes Academy in west London Sally Coates, who chaired the Skills Test Review Panel that is behind the recommendations, said: "We believe that the whole selection process needs to be sufficiently rigorous to ensure that anyone who gains a place on a course of initial teacher training would be highly likely to succeed in that training, and go on to make an excellent teacher."
These reforms make up part of Mr Gove's 'Training our next generation of outstanding teachers: Implementation plan'.
Posted by Alan Douglas