News story

Consultation launched to lift teacher restrictions

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Details of a consultation on proposals to widen the pool of available teachers.

The Department for Education today launched a consultation on proposals to allow schools to appoint the talented and experienced teachers they need.

The changes would see bureaucracy reduced so that fully qualified teachers from the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and further education teachers are more easily permitted to teach in schools as qualified teachers without further training or assessment, or serving statutory induction.

Evidence from around the world shows that the most important factor in fostering excellence in schools is the quality of its teachers.

Currently:

  • Teachers from the European Economic Area can teach in England’s schools. But those from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are not allowed to work here as qualified teachers without further training and assessment. The National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) reported in 2003 that teacher training systems in those countries are equivalent to those in the United Kingdom. Schools will be able to appoint these teachers if they cannot otherwise find the high-quality teachers they need.
  • Further education teachers with Qualified Teaching and Learning Skills (QTLS) status can only be appointed in schools as unqualified teachers on a temporary basis. Professor Alison Wolf recommended in her review of vocational education earlier this year that this restriction be lifted because it was making it more difficult for schools to provide high-quality vocational teaching. The recommendation was accepted immediately by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Subject to the consultation, heads will be given greater freedom to appoint teachers with the right skills, special qualifications or experience in order to provide a broad curriculum for their pupils.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:

We want to put qualified teachers from the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand on an equal footing with qualified teachers from the European Economic Area, who can already teach in this country without needing further qualifications.

These are important deregulatory proposals that will make it easier for many highly talented teachers to remain in the classroom.

Professor Alison Wolf said:

During my Review I found no support or acceptable rationale for the current situation, which refuses recognition to QTLS in schools.

The sooner this is changed the better; and I am delighted that the government proposes to make it easier for schools to hire the best person for the job.

Toni Fazaeli, chief executive of the Institute for Learning (IfL), said:

Some 5,000 further education teachers made the case for QTLS to be recognised for teaching in schools, on a par with QTS, as their contribution to the Wolf review. IfL has consistently made the case for our members’ professionalism and the professional status of QTLS to be recognised for teaching in schools’ settings as well as further education, so that young people have access to expert vocational teaching wherever they learn.

Recognising QTLS status and certain overseas teaching qualifications will require a change in the law. Subject to the public consultation and parliamentary process, we anticipate that revised regulations will come into effect from April 2012. Until these changes are made, the existing regulations will remain in force. The consultation will close on 16 December.

Professor Wolf’s review of vocational education.

What we are consulting on:

  1. Teachers with Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status will have qualified teacher status and will therefore be able to teach in schools as qualified teachers on a permanent basis.
  2. Teachers with QTLS status will be required to maintain their membership of the Institute for Learning (IfL).
  3. Teachers with QTLS status will not be required to complete a statutory induction period in schools.
  4. Qualified teachers from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will have qualified teacher status. This means that they will be able to teach in schools as qualified teachers on a permanent basis without undertaking additional training or assessment.
  5. Qualified teachers from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will not be required to complete a statutory induction period in England.

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