Qualified Teacher Status

Teachers qualified in a country outside of the UK, EEA and Switzerland are legally permitted to teach in state maintained schools and non-maintained special schools in England as unqualified teachers without qualified teacher status (QTS) for up to four calendar years. This is referred to as the “four year rule”.

This four year rule begins on the first day the teacher teaches in a state maintained school or a non-maintained special school in England and expires exactly four years later regardless of whether the OTT has taught throughout the four year period. During this during this  period the teacher must obtain their UK Qualified Teacher Status or be employed as an instructor.

Instructors (an unqualified teacher) who may fill a post to teach subjects or courses that require special qualifications and/or experience if they have skills and experience relevant to the teaching post in question. There is no generic definition of skills, qualifications and experience, which are decided by individual head-teachers based on the subject in question. An OTT should only be reclassified as an instructor if they meet this requirement.

Teachers who qualified in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America may apply for QTS without further training or assessment in England and are exempt from the four year rule.

If you trained in a country outside of those mentioned above, you need to complete an accredited programme in England to obtain QTS and take up a permanent teaching post. A Star Teachers can assist you with this accreditation. Just contact us to discuss your situation.

To learn more about what QTS requirements for your country, visit the government’s QTS page here.