What is qualified teacher status (QTS)?

You need qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in maintained primary, secondary and special schools in England. These are schools funded by local authorities.

Some schools can employ teachers without QTS (for example, private schools(opens in new window) and academy schools(opens in new window)) but many still use it to assess the quality of candidates.

You do not need QTS to teach in further education or work in early years education.

If you qualified as a teacher outside the UK, you can teach in England for up to 4 years without QTS.

Get QTS through teacher training

You can get QTS through undergraduate or postgraduate initial teacher training. This mostly involves school placements with some theoretical learning.

You can apply for either a primary or secondary teacher training course awarding QTS. Find out more about deciding who to teach.

You can also get a postgraduate qualification through teacher training such as a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).

Some courses just offer a PGCE without QTS, but this means you may not be fully qualified to teach in your chosen school.

Find out how to get QTS through teacher training.

Get QTS through an assessment only programme

You could get QTS through an assessment only programme. This means you can show that you already meet the standards for QTS without having to do any more training.

You can usually do this if you’ve worked as an unqualified teacher:

  • for a significant amount of time (for example, 2 years)
  • in more than one school

Find out how to get QTS through assessment only.

Get QTS if you qualified as a teacher outside England

If you trained to teach in Wales, your QTS will be automatically recognised in England and awarded by the Education Workforce Council (EWC)(opens in new window).

If you trained to teach in Scotland, Northern Ireland or in a country outside the UK, you may be able to apply for QTS in England without any further fees or training.

You can check your eligibility to apply for qualified teacher status (QTS) if you qualified as a teacher outside England(opens in new window).

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