Guidance

Qualified teacher status (QTS)

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) 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 qualified 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 Assessment Only route. If successful, your QTS certificate will be available via our 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.

Complete the QTS application form: Scotland (PDF, 470KB, 5 pages)

Complete the QTS application form: Northern Ireland (PDF, 776KB, 6 pages)

It should take between 2 and 4 weeks to process your application. This is dependent on the number of applications received.

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.

Complete the QTS application form: EEA nationals (PDF, 357KB, 8 pages)

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.

Non-EEA nationals

If you trained in a country outside the EEA, you can work for up to 4 years in England as a temporary teacher without QTS. You must have QTS to take up a permanent teaching post in a maintained school.

If you qualified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States of America (USA), you may be recognised as a qualified teacher and can apply for QTS in England. You will still be required to satisfy any UK Visas and Immigration requirements that may apply to you for the purposes of entering or remaining in the UK to work as a teacher.

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.

If you trained in the EEA but are not an EEA national, you can’t apply through the EEA route. Please contact us to find out the most suitable route to obtain QTS.

Further education teachers

If you have qualifications to teach in the further education sector you can work in maintained schools in England as a qualified teacher if you have either of the following:

  • the full professional status of qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS) with the Institute for Learning (IfL)
  • QTS (we can advise you on the most suitable route to assess your previous teaching experience and which teacher training provider to approach)

QTLS

If you have QTLS status and membership of the IfL, you will automatically be recognised as a qualified teacher in schools in England. You do not need QTS.

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.

Contact the IfL on 0844 815 3202 or at qlts@ifl.ac.uk to check whether an individual holds QTLS status.

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. We will be able to advise you on the most suitable route and which teacher training provider to approach.

Contact

Please contact us to:

  • enquire about the award of QTS status
  • submit an application
  • check the status of an application
  • confirm QTS status if a certificate has been lost

Qualified teacher status

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