Find out how to obtain qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in a maintained school or non-maintained special school in England.
You must have qualified teacher status (QTS) to take up a teaching post in England in a:
- maintained primary school
- maintained secondary school
- maintained special school
- non-maintained special school
Maintained schools form part of the state-funded schools system in England (including primary, secondary and special schools for pupils with special educational needs). In maintained schools funding and oversight is generally through the local authority. They make up the majority of schools in England and are mostly either community schools or voluntary controlled schools (where the local authority employs the school’s staff and is responsible for admissions) or foundation and voluntary aided schools, where the school’s governing body employs the staff and has responsibility for admissions.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is the competent authority in England for the teaching profession. On behalf of the Secretary of State we’re responsible for the award of QTS. We also award QTS to trained teachers from the European Economic Area (EEA).
Once you have QTS, and are employed to teach in a maintained school in England or Wales, you will be paid under the school teachers’ pay scales. You will be subject to the performance management arrangements in schools in the same way as any other qualified teacher.
Teachers who trained in England
When you have finished your training, the initial teacher training provider will inform us of your results. This applies to all teacher training routes and to those awarded QTS following the assessment only route. If successful, we’ll award you QTS and update your record on the database of qualified teachers. Your QTS certificate will be available online from the teacher self-service website.
Teachers who trained in Wales
If you completed your initial teacher training in Wales, you’ll be awarded QTS by the Education Workforce Council (EWC). QTS awarded by the EWC is automatically recognised in England and the information is held on the database of qualified teachers.
Teachers trained or recognised in Scotland or Northern Ireland
If you trained in either Scotland or Northern Ireland you must apply for QTS to take up a teaching post in a maintained school or non-maintained special school in England.
Overseas trained teachers (OTTs) who qualified outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) who have gained recognition as a teacher in either Scotland or Northern Ireland can also apply for QTS in England.
To submit your application use the online application form.
It should take between 2 and 4 weeks to process your application.
If an EEA member state recognises you as a qualified school teacher you can apply for QTS in England under the terms of Council Directive 2005/36/EC.
If you trained outside the EEA you can also apply for QTS in England. An EEA member state needs to recognise your qualifications and you will need 3 years of experience as a teacher in that state.
Swiss nationals are also eligible to apply for QTS in England.
From the 19 December 2016 teachers who are recognised in the EEA but who are only qualified to teach pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can apply for partial qualified teacher status in England. A teacher with partial qualified teacher status can be appointed to a qualified teacher post in a special school or to teach pupils in a specialist unit in mainstream schools. Partial qualified teacher status also exempts a teacher from the requirement to serve a statutory induction period in England. This change is due to an amendment to Council Directive 2005/36/EC. EU Member States must recognise qualifications when they entitle a professional to work in specific areas of a regulated profession.
If you’re not sure if you’re eligible please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To submit your application use the online application form.
It may take up to 4 months to process your application. You won’t need further training and will be exempt from having to serve a statutory induction period. If successful, you’ll be awarded QTS. We’ll notify you by email and you can download a letter confirming the award from the teacher self-service website.
If we’re unable to award you QTS, you’ll need to complete a course of initial teacher training in England.
Teachers qualified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA
Teachers must apply to us for the award of QTS before they can be recognised as qualified teachers.
To submit your application:
- use the online application form
- send a letter confirming that you’re qualified and eligible to teach permanently in the country in question. Only letters from the recognised authority will be accepted for this purpose.
We’ll then verify that you’re a fully qualified teacher in Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA and has not been barred from teaching. Subject to satisfactory completion of these checks, you’ll be issued with a letter confirming the award of QTS. Details of fully qualified teachers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA will be held on the database of qualified teachers in England.
Find out more about teaching in England.
If you trained in a country outside of the EEA, other than Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA, you need to complete an accredited training programme in England to obtain QTS and take up a permanent teaching post.
Qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS)
If you have QTLS status and membership with the Society for Education and Training, you will be eligible to work as a qualified teacher in schools in England.
It will be up to schools and local authorities to decide whether you are suitable for a post and to teach a particular subject. You will be exempt from serving a statutory induction period in schools.
For further information about QTLS and working in maintained schools please contact the Society for Education and Training.
Independent sector teachers
If you are from the independent sector, you need QTS to teach in the maintained sector. There are a number of routes which assess previous teaching experience, further details are available on Get into Teaching.
Telephone 0207 593 5394
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, excluding UK bank holidays.
Published: 15 April 2014
Updated: 9 May 2016
- Added information for teachers who completed their initial teacher training (ITT) in Wales.
- New online application form available.
- First published.