Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

PCT2U Guide to QTS

Deregulation of Teaching Qualifications in the UK

There is a lot of confusion surrounding what is required to be a qualified teacher in UK schools these days as the traditional PGCE route along with QTLS training in schools was deregulated and funding removed by the UK government. Now you don’t legally require a PGCE to work in a UK school, in fact to become a qualified teacher you can just take our online Diploma in Education and Training course without any prior degree level qualification and obtain QTS to become a fully qualified teacher.

Due to the deregulation of teachers qualifications in the UK you can progress to QTS through us starting from the (AET) Level 3 Award in Education and Training onto the (CET) Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training and up to the (DET) Level 5 postgraduate Diploma in Education and Training. Once the DET has been obtained you can then get employment in a school and you will be able to claim the UK qualified teachers pay-scale. The UK Academy sector doesn’t have any entry requirements for dual professionals joining the teaching faculty as long as you commit to train as a part of your CPD either on the CET or DET routes to gain your QTS. There is also no requirement to obtain the QTLS recognition through the Society of Education and Training as this is not mandatory and is merely a professional formation that reviews your teacher training portfolio. Again the actual government funded route for QTLS was discontinued by the UK government as something that was no longer required in UK schools. It is now a CPD route that is reviewed by inspectors of teachers working in schools and a part of this teacher training portfolio is the CET and DET routes to then obtain the QTS pay-scale.

In 2015 a government consultation was concluded and it was found that deregulation of regulated qualifications would occur so there is no longer a QCF framework or GLH’s applied to qualifications. Now we have an RQF framework and this includes TQT as a requirement not GLH and now defines regulated qualifications further to this consultation. For more information on changes to regulated qualifications please visit here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/after-the-qcf-a-new-qualifications-framework


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

Maintained schools form part of the state-funded schools system in England (including primary, secondary and special schools for pupils with special educational needs). In maintained schools funding and oversight is generally through the local authority. They make up the majority of schools in England and are mostly either community schools or voluntary controlled schools (where the local authority employs the school’s staff and is responsible for admissions) or foundation and voluntary aided schools, where the school’s governing body employs the staff and has responsibility for admissions.

The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) is the competent authority in England for the teaching profession. On behalf of the Secretary of State we’re responsible for the award of QTS. We also award QTS to trained teachers from the European Economic Area (EEA).

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, we’ll award you QTS and update your record on the database of qualified teachers. Your QTS certificate will be available online from the teacher self-service website.

Teachers who trained in Wales

If you completed your initial teacher training in Wales, you’ll be awarded QTSby 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.

Teachers trained or recognised in Scotland or Northern Ireland

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

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 EEAmember 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.

From the 19 December 2016 teachers who are recognised in the EEA but who are only qualified to teach pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can apply for partial qualified teacher status in England. A teacher with partial qualified teacher status can be appointed to a qualified teacher post in a special school or to teach pupils in a specialist unit in mainstream schools. Partial qualified teacher status also exempts a teacher from the requirement to serve a statutory induction period in England. This change is due to an amendment to Council Directive 2005/36/EC. EU Member States must recognise qualifications when they entitle a professional to work in specific areas of a regulated profession.

If you’re not sure if you’re eligible please contact [email protected].

For more guidance on routes to QTS please contact us on 020-33974548 or email us at [email protected]