Qualified teacher status (QTS): qualify to teach in England
Find out how to obtain qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in a maintained school or non-maintained special school in England.
Applies to England
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.
Get into Teaching explains teacher training routes to QTS for UK citizens.
The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) are responsible for awarding QTS. They also award QTS to qualified teachers outside England.
Schools where QTS is a legal requirement
Schools where QTS is a legal requirement are referred to as maintained schools. Maintained schools are part of the state-funded school system in England – funding and oversight are generally provided by the local authority.
- community schools or voluntary controlled schools (where the local authority employs the school’s staff and is responsible for admissions)
- foundation and voluntary-aided schools (where the school’s governing body employs the staff and is responsible for admissions)
You must also have QTS to teach in a non-maintained special school.
Schools where QTS is not a legal requirement
In some schools in England, QTS is not a legal requirement. For example:
- within the English state school sector, academy schools and free schools can employ teachers without QTS
- outside the English state school sector, private schools or independent schools can employ teachers without QTS
Even where QTS is not a legal requirement, many schools use it to assess the quality of candidates for teaching jobs.
Teachers who trained in England
When you finish your training, your initial teacher training provider will tell us about your results. This applies to all teacher training routes and to those awarded QTS following the assessment only route.
If you’re successful, we’ll award you QTS and update your teacher record. 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). This is recognised in England and the information is held on teacher records.
Teachers trained or recognised in Northern Ireland or Scotland
If you trained in either Northern Ireland or Scotland, you must apply for QTS if you intend to take up a teaching post in a maintained school or non-maintained special school in England.
Overseas trained teachers who have gained recognition as a teacher in either Northern Ireland or Scotland can also apply for QTS in England.
You can apply for QTS.
It should take between 2 and 4 weeks to process your application.
Teachers who trained outside the UK
If you are a qualified teacher from a country outside the UK or have gained teaching experience outside the UK, read the guidance on routes to QTS for teachers who qualified outside the UK.
Recognition of QTS for teachers who want to teach overseas
To find out if the country where you plan to work recognises QTS, and whether they require any further teaching qualifications, check with the organisation that regulates teachers in that country.
UK ENIC is the UK’s national information centre for professional qualifications and can give you contact details for the appropriate organisation in your chosen country.
Qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS)
If you are an experienced post-14 teacher and have QTLS status and membership of the Society for Education and Training, you may be eligible to work as a qualified teacher in schools in England.
You can find out how to obtain QTLS and how to teach in a maintained school with QTLS.
Independent sector teachers
If you’re from the independent sector, you need QTS to teach in the maintained and non-maintained special school sectors.
There are a number of routes that assess previous teaching experience.
Learn more about teaching and training to teach in a private or independent school in England.
Teaching Regulation Agency
Telephone 0207 593 5394
Last updated 21 January 2022 + show all updates
Added a link to Get into Teaching which explains teacher training routes to QTS for UK citizens.
Updated page to include details of qualified teacher status for teachers trained in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Updated section 'Teachers from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand or USA' to clarify the evidence applicants need to submit when applying for QTS.
Updated 'Overview' and sections on 'Teachers who qualified in other countries'. Combined sections on 'Teachers from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland' and 'Teachers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or USA' and updated with new information. Added a section on 'Recognition of QTS for teachers who want to teach overseas'.
Added information about the recognition of teaching qualifications from 1 January 2021.
Updated with information for teachers from overseas about gaining QTS during coronavirus (COVID-19).
Confirmation of the application process for QTS for teachers from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland up to 1 January 2021.
Added information for teachers recognised in the EEA or Switzerland on arrangements after Brexit.
Added information for teachers who completed their initial teacher training (ITT) in Wales.
New online application form available.