Qualified teacher status (QTS) is a legal requirement to teach in many English schools and is considered desirable for teachers in the majority of schools in England. English teacher training leads to the professional teaching qualification called qualified teacher status (QTS). Although if you are a qualified teacher from outside the UK, you can work as a teacher in England for up to 4 years without QTS.
This article will however guide you and explains the different ways to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for teachers and those with teaching experience outside the UK.
There are 4 ways to qualified teacher status for teachers and those with teaching experience outside the UK, they are:
- apply for QTS through the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA)
- apply for assessment only QTS
- apply for teacher training in England
- apply to train for international qualified teacher status (iQTS)
- Apply for QTS through TRA
Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) is the agency responsible for regulating the teaching profession on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education, this means investigating and, where appropriate, progressing allegations of serious teacher misconduct to hearing. You can apply for QTS through the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) if you have a teaching qualification from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, Gibraltar, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, the USA, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
To apply you have to submit evidence that you’re recognised as a teacher in the country where you qualified and are not prohibited or restricted from teaching by a professional sanction against you. You do not need to pay a fee, undergo any further training or visit the UK.
From 1 February 2023, teachers who qualified in the following 9 countries will also be able to apply to TRA for QTS: Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Ukraine, Zimbabwe
2. Apply for assessment only QTS
Assessment only QTS means experienced teachers with a degree can gain QTS without doing a teacher training programme. You can apply to a UK government-approved teacher training provider in England for an assessment showing you meet the standards for QTS. You do not need to visit the UK to be assessed and gain QTS. When you apply for assessment only QTS you may have to pay a fee. However, you do need
- a minimum of 2 years’ teaching experience
- a first (bachelor’s) degree from a UK or non-UK university
- an English language qualification which is the same standard as a grade 4 GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education)
- a maths qualification which is the same standard as a grade 4 GCSE
- to teach children aged 3 to 11 in primary school, a physics, chemistry or biology (science) qualification which is the same standard as a grade 4 GCSE
A GCSE is an academic qualification awarded for examinations in England, usually taken at age 16.
If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, your assessment only teacher training provider may want to see a ‘statement of comparability’ showing how they compare to UK qualifications.
3. Apply for teacher training in England
All non-UK citizens can apply to train to teach in England, when you apply for a teacher training course in England leading to QTS you will need to pay a fee (starting at £12,000) plus your living costs, undergo a year of full-time training and relocate to the UK. You have to have the necessary qualifications and visas before applying.
4. Apply to train for international Qualified Teacher Status
International qualified teacher status (iQTS) is a new teaching qualification backed by the UK government that:
- is delivered online by English teacher training providers in partnership with schools around the world
- meets the same standards as English QTS and leads to the automatic award of QTS.
- is open to all non-UK citizens, and is currently available from 6 providers, with plans to roll the qualification out more widely from September 2023
- is the only international teacher training course that leads to the automatic award of Qualified Teacher Status (other courses may offer valuable training but do not lead to QTS)
When you apply for assessment only QTS you will have to pay a fee.