In order to work as a teacher, you will need at least one of two fundamental qualifications. You can either qualify via the QTS qualification (Qualified Teacher Status) or the QTLS qualification (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills). Once you have achieved one or both of these, you’ll go on to complete an NQTS (Newly Qualified Teacher Status) induction year.
In this blog, we will provide you with a full breakdown of how to apply for QTS, and the steps you will need to gain it.
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
Qualified Teacher Status, or QTS, is the bread and butter qualification that every teacher in the UK will need in order to:
- Teach in a state primary school;
- Teach in a state secondary school;
- Teach in a state or non-state special school.
Teachers in independent schools are not legally required to have QTS or any other recognised teaching qualification, although most do. This means that if you want to teach at an independent school, you can assume that most of your competitors for the role will have qualifications to fall back on; meaning it’s best to get some before applying. QTS is awarded by the Department of Education, who act on behalf of the Secretary of State. The Department of Education also awards QTS to other trained teachers, from the European Economic Area.
Once you have been awarded with QTS, you will be qualified to teach in any of the institutions listed above. After commencing employment, you will be subject to regular performance maintenance checks and paid under the school teacher pay scale. You can earn your QTS by completing a period of teacher training with an established provider/ course. For example, by taking the PGCE. In this blog we will cover a number of popular training routes for teachers.
Once you have completed your training period, your training provider will send your results off to the Department of Education, who will then award you with QTS. You’ll be recorded on a database of qualified teachers, and will be able to access your QTS certificate via the college website.
Apply For QTS: Training Routes
There are a number of different ways that you can attain QTS. In our book, we will cover each of these sections in great detail. For now, take a look at the brief overview of each route, and think about which one might suit you best, before you apply for QTS.
School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)
SCITT trainees spend the majority of their training period actually in schools. They work with pupils and experts in the field, to increase their knowledge and become better teachers. The advantage of this is that you can select from schools which are nearby. However, in order to complete the SCITT, you’ll need to teach in different schools and take shorter placements in other settings/educational venues. You should apply for SCITT via UCAS Teacher Training.
School Direct (Salaried)
Trainees on the School Direct route will be actually employed by the school, and you will receive the salary of an unqualified teacher whilst you train. In order to take the School Direct route, you must have been a graduate who has been working for around 3 years in any career. You’ll be recruited by schools with a specific job in mind for them to do. The route takes around 1 year to complete.
School Direct (Tuition Fee)
On this route, you will train within a partnership of associated schools. In order to pay for this course, it will incur a significant cost, depending on the organisation that you are applying to. However, you may be eligible for a student loan in order to pay for this, before you apply for QTS.
Assessment Only Route
The Assessment Only route is designed for candidates who already have a high level of experience working in schools or other educational settings, but don’t yet have QTS.
Since candidates on this route already have a huge amount of experience, the Assessment Only route usually takes no longer than 1 school term to complete. You’ll need to submit a portfolio of evidence, which will then be assessed against QTS standards, before being observed whilst teaching. There are significant costs involved in taking this route, which you will need to pay in order to participate.
In order to apply for QTS Assessment Only route, you will need to apply direct to course providers. In doing so, you must have the full support of the school you are currently working at, as they will need to help provide evidence of your skills and supporting documentation. As you might have gathered, you’ll need to have passed the Professional Skills Test before pursuing this route.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a full-time course, which normally lasts for 1 academic year. However, part-time options are available. The PGCE is an extremely popular option amongst graduates. During the course, you will attend theory-based classes at your university or college, and will also take part in at least 24 weeks of placement in schools.
Teach First is a 2 year development programme, which is conducted in schools experiencing poverty or underachievement. When taking part in this programme, you will be employed as an unqualified teacher, completing your PGCE in the first year and NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) induction in the second year. Furthermore, you’ll be given the chance to gain a masters qualification. Applications to Teach First are made via their website. Recruitment is carried out on a rolling basis. Teach First operates on a first come, first served basis, with spaces being filled once the right candidates are found. Later in this book, we’ll provide you with all of the information that you need to know on filling in the Teach First application form.
Researchers in Schools (RIS)
The RIS programme is designed for researchers who are in the process of, or have already completed, their doctorates. As a trainee, you will be placed in a state school, where you will achieve QTS in the first year and NQT status in the second year. There’s also an option to take a third year, which works towards the Research Leader in Education Award (RLE). In order to apply for RIS, you will need to complete the application form via their website. Later in this guide, we’ll provide you with detailed advice on how to do this.
Professional Skills Test
In order to apply for QTS, you will also need to pass the Professional Skills Test. This is a test which requires teachers to demonstrate that they have the skills needed to fulfil their professional responsibilities within a school; rather than demonstrating their subject knowledge. The aim of the Professional Skills Test is to ensure that all teachers are competent in literacy and numeracy.
Apply for QTS: Become A Teacher Today!
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