QTS, or Qualified Teacher Status, is an accreditation given to qualified teachers in the UK. Find our guide to QTS below.
The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) is the competent authority in England and they are responsible for awarding QTS. They also award QTS to qualified teachers outside England. Once you are awarded QTS, you will receive a Teaching Reference Number (TRN) which you can use to prove your qualified teaching status.
It is a legal requirement to have QTS to teach in many English schools, and the majority of schools see QTS as the gold standard for teachers.
Schools, where QTS is a legal requirement, are referred to as maintained schools. Maintained schools are state-funded and include:
• Community schools or voluntary controlled schools
• Foundation and voluntary-aided schools
You must also have QTS to teach in a non-maintained special school.
If you would like more information on how the UK school system works, please click here to find our blog post on the subject.
Overseas Qualified Teachers and the Four-Year Rule
Overseas Trained Teachers (OTTs) can work as unqualified teachers in maintained schools and non-maintained special schools, in England, for up to four years. If you intend to continue working as a teacher after this four-year period, you will need to ensure you obtain QTS before the end.
The four-year rule applies to Overseas Teachers who meet all of the following conditions:
• They have qualified as a teacher in a country outside of the UK
• They have completed a course of teacher training recognized by that country’s authority
• They are employed in maintained schools and non-maintained special schools, but not a pupil referral unit
Statutory QTS and induction regulations do not apply to teach in the following establishments in England:
• Academies (including free schools)
• Studio schools
• University training schools
• Independent schools
Therefore, these establishments can employ suitably qualified teachers without the need for statutory QTS and induction. Hiring a teacher without QTS, however, remains up to the establishment’s discretion. Even if QTS is not a legal requirement, many schools still use it to assess the quality of candidates for teaching jobs.
For more information on the different routes available to you, Get into Teaching is a very useful resource. They offer a handy online live chat, or you can call them if you prefer.
We are also here to help answer any questions you may have!