Guidance

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.

Overview

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

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), an executive agency of the Department for Education, is the awarding body for QTS.

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, your QTS certificate will be available on our teacher self-service online service.

Teachers trained or recognised in Scotland or Northern Ireland

Teachers who trained in either Scotland or Northern Ireland must obtain 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.

EEA nationals

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.

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 we are unable to award you QTS, you will 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 NCTL 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 the teacher is qualified and eligible to teach permanently in the country in question. Only letters from the recognised authority will be accepted for this purpose.

We will then verify that the individual is 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, the teacher will 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 by us on the database of qualified teachers in England.

Find out more about teaching in England.

Please note

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 Education and Training Foundation, 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 Education and Training Foundation.

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.

Contact

Qualified teacher status

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