Qualified Teacher Status
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is required in England and Wales to become, and continue being, a teacher of children in state schools that are under local authority control, and in special education schools. Similar statuses exist in the rest of the United Kingdom (Scotland and Northern Ireland), but under different names.
- 1 Schools not requiring QTS for teachers
- 2 Gaining QTS
- 3 Scotland and Northern Ireland
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Schools not requiring QTS for teachers
There is no formal requirement for teachers at independent schools to have QTS.
An undergraduate degree and some form of teacher training is compulsory for new QTS recipients. The most common way to achieve QTS is for those who already have a degree to undertake a postgraduate teacher training course, such as the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), Professional Certificate in Education or employment-based training, such as the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP). There are also some undergraduate degree qualifications, such as the Bachelor of Education, that lead to the award of a first degree and QTS. In England only, candidates must also pass the QTS Skills Tests. All candidates must have GCSEs at grade C or above (or demonstrate an equivalent standard) in English, Mathematics and, for primary trainees only, Science before embarking on teacher training.
All training which leads to Qualified Teacher Status requires trainees to train across at least two key consecutive pupil age ranges as defined in the Secretary of State's Requirements for Initial Teacher Training. The age ranges are the following:
- Ages 3–5 (Foundation stage)
- Ages 5–7 (School years 1-2)
- Ages 7–9 (School years 3-4)
- Ages 9–11 (School years 5-6)
- Ages 11–14 (School years 7-9)
- Ages 14–16 (School years 10-11)
- Ages 16–19 (School years 12-13)
The General Teaching Council for England (GTC) and General Teaching Council for Wales maintain all registrations, as well as issuing QTS certificates (a task previously undertaken by the Department for Education and Skills). Following abolition on 31 March 2012, the GTC's function is now undertaken by the Teaching Agency.
QTS is technically recognised only in the country it was awarded (England or Wales), but teachers can normally apply for QTS in the other country relatively easily. QTS is also recognised by many other countries once the relevant paperwork has been completed, though many countries place a lot of importance on the route to QTS (such as requiring a PGCE, while not accepting the GTP). Teachers trained outside England and Wales must also apply to be awarded QTS if they wish to teach in England and Wales.
After having been awarded QTS teachers must normally still pass an induction period (previously called 'probation') – normally their first year of teaching. Those who fail the induction still retain their QTS, but cannot teach in state-run schools. The induction period normally lasts a year (three school terms). Such teachers are often known as a Newly Qualified Teacher or NQT.
Not all European Union qualifications have been officially recognised yet, so one should confirm with one's education establishment as to whether one's qualifications are acceptable, or one needs to go through the recognition process.
One's land or origin may well have an office whose purpose is translation and confirmation/recognition of qualifications. Again, one should, if uncertain, seek advice by contacting the Teaching Agency to see if such confirmation is required.
Routes to QTS
Many different qualifications and courses lead to QTS:
Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
The PGCE is one-year course for existing undergraduate degree holders and the most-common way to train to become a teacher. It is based at and coordinated by a university or other higher education institution, though students spend a large proportion of the course on teaching practice at placement schools. The PGCE carries credits towards a master's degree.
Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (ProfGCE)
The ProfGCE is a course very similar to a PGCE, but it does not carry master's credits.
School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)
A SCITT programme enables graduates to undertake their training within a school environment, leading to QTS. Some SCITT programmes also award a PGCE qualification. It is available in England only.
Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP)
The GTP enables candidates to gain QTS while they are employed as an unqualified teacher in a school.
Both the graduate and registered teacher programmes (GTP and RTP) have been closed in England. The graduate teacher programme (GTP) has been replaced by the School Direct Training Programme (salaried).
Undergraduate QTS routes
Students can take a three or four-year undergraduate degree course that includes QTS. This enables a candidate to gain their QTS while they study for their degree, with teaching practise being undertaken over the course of the whole programme. These are usually Bachelor of Education (BEd) degrees, though some are Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees.
Scotland and Northern Ireland
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QTS as such does not exist in Scotland or Northern Ireland. However, similarly in England and Wales, all teachers in Scotland and Northern Ireland are required to register with either the General Teaching Council for Scotland or the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland; the General Teaching Councils will consider only graduates with a teaching qualifications (such as the PGCE or PGDE) for registration.
Those holding English or Welsh QTS (or an equivalent from another country) must apply for registration with the relevant General Teaching Council. Each case is considered individually; even those with English or Welsh QTS are not guaranteed to be allowed to teach in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
- "Academies to have same freedom as Free Schools over teachers" (Press release). Department for Education. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "ITT requirements guidance". TDA website. Training & Development Agency for Schools. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
- http://targetcourses.co.uk/study-areas/teaching/teacher-training-options. Missing or empty
- Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status
- General Teaching Council for England
- General Teaching Council for Wales
- General Teaching Council for Scotland
- General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland