Monday, December 10, 2007

QTS - Qualified Teacher Status

If you want to teach in England or Wales pernamently, you will have to get qualified teacher status or QTS. Here is some basic information about QTS from

QTS - What is it?

QTF is the accreditation that enables you to teach in state-maintained and special schools in England and Wales (1).

Who needs it?

Anyone who wants to teach in a state-maintained school in England or Wales needs to gain qualified teacher status (QTS). To achieve this award, you need to complete a period of initial teacher training (ITT), which will enable you to meet the professional standards for QTS; a formal set of skills and qualities required to be an effective teacher (1).

How do you get it?

There are a number of different forms of ITT, and many more individual courses for you to choose from. You can complete your training at undergraduate or postgraduate level, and even take an employment-based route (1).

What if you are already an experienced teacher?

You may already have been teaching for some time; in the independent sector, or as an overseas teacher. Regardless of experience, you will still need QTS before you can teach as a qualified teacher in a state-maintained school.

If you have the right experience you won't necessarily need to complete a full programme of ITT. There are options including a programme of QTS assessment only and tailored training for overseas trained teachers.

How long do I have to do this?

The four-year rule for overseas trained teachers (OTTs) states that you can teach for up to four years before you have to be awarded QTS. The four years starts from the first day that you teach in a mainstream school in England, and includes any time out of service.

Currently the four-year rule states that as long as an OTT is on a programme leading to the award of QTS they can be awarded QTS, even if they have been teaching in England for four years or more as an unqualified teacher. Such programmes have to be completed by the end of August 2008.

If the school is unable to fill a vacancy, it is possible to advertise it as an instructor role. Overseas trained teachers employed as instructors are able to access the OTTP, as long as their programme is completed by the end of August 2008.

From August 2007, it will no longer be possible for OTTs without QTS to continue teaching after four years under any other circumstances.

Those teachers for whom this rule applies will need to complete a programme such as a flexible PGCE to gain QTS, or gain employment in an independent school to continue teaching (2).

What should I do to get my credentials recognised?

I would suggest registering with the TDA (Training and Development Agency for Schools). You can register here or you can click here for further contact details.

Do I need to get QTS?

No. You do not need to get QTS. You only need to get QTS if you intend on teaching in England or Wales pernamently. Most people only get QTS if their significant other lives in England or if it is impossible for them to find work in their country of origin.

You can work as a teacher for up to four years without QTS as a so-called unqualified teacher. This means that your qualifications are not recognised by the British, but you still have to be certified to teach in your country of origin.


Next - Why unqualified teachers are allowed to teach