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Qualified teacher status (QTS or QTLS) is required in England and Wales to work as a teacher of children in state schools under local authority control, and in special education schools. A similar status exists under a different name in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Teachers must have qualified teacher status (QTS) to take up a teaching post in a maintained primary/ secondary / special / non – maintained school in England.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is responsible for the award of QTS.

Teacher qualified in Wales

If you completed your initial teacher training in Wales, you’ll be awarded QTS by the Education Workforce Council (EWC). QTS awarded by the EWC is automatically recognised in England and the information is held on the database of qualified teachers

Teacher qualified or recognised in Scotland and Northern Territory

If you trained in either Scotland or Northern Ireland you must apply for 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.

EEA Nationals\ Irish Teachers

If an EEA member state recognises you as a qualified school teacher you can apply for UK QTS 

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.

Teacher qualified in Ireland completing their NQT year in England

The Irish Teaching Council current requirements for an NQT employed by a school in the UK for the completion of the registration condition of the induction programme. Useful for beginning teachers seeking full Irish registration through an induction year in the U.K. 

If a post primary teacher is not completing the NQT year and only needs to have hours (300) signed off they should use this Form B. 

In relation to Brexit, currently the Teaching Council has no plans to change current practices, procedures and requirements as a result of the Brexit vote.

Teacher qualified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA

Teachers must apply to us for the award of QTS before they can be recognised as qualified teachers.

Apply online for Qualified Teachers Status (QTS) using a Mutual Recognition  Application through the National College for Teaching and leadership (NCTL) portal. 

This sounds a little off - putting however it is fairly straight forward for Aussies and Kiwis (Guidance)  and we can assist as our Professional Development Team have over 14 years experience in gaining QTS for 1000s of Overseas Trained Teachers (OTTs) primarily from Australia and New Zealand.  

The NCTL verify that you are a fully qualified teacher in Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA and have not been barred from teaching and in less than a month they will issue you with a letter confirming the award of QTS. Details of fully qualified teachers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA will be held on the database of qualified teachers in England.

Overseas Trained Teachers (OTTs) and the “Four Year Rule”

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.

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 4 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 4 year 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 from the rest of the world

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 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 Society for Education and Training, 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.

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.