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CP01 - Routes to Qualified Teacher Status

This paper seeks to advise members on the range of routes to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), and of possible implications for schools of taking a candidate for QTS. It does not deal in any detail with the Graduate Teacher Route, which is the subject of a separate advice paper, number two in this series (CP02). It is broadly relevant to schools in England and Wales, although there are differences in the arrangements within the two countries. It does not cover arrangements in Northern Ireland.


NAHT advice papers do not normally discuss the situation in Scotland. However, a small number of enquiries have been received at headquarters in recent months on the subject of teaching there. Information on initial teacher training and QTS in Scotland can be obtained from the General Teaching Council for Scotland, whose contact details are given below. Please contact headquarters if you require further details.


Teaching in England and Wales is a graduate entry profession and has been so for many years. It is worth noting that nothing in the Agreement signed in January 2003 regarding support staff in schools altered that. Prospective teachers may go through an undergraduate or post-graduate route to QTS. As well as any entry requirements put in place by a particular institution, a candidate for initial teacher education (ITE) must have achieved grade C or equivalent at GCSE in English and mathematics. In addition, a candidate wishing to teach primary or Key Stages 2 / 3 ITE, who was born on or after 1st September 1979, must also have a grade C pass at GCSE or equivalent in a science subject.


Whatever route they take, all candidates for QTS have to satisfy the same set of standards. The current standards remain in force until September 2012 when a revised, single framework will be implemented. Current standard scan be found on the TDA website. To satisfy the QTS Standards, candidates will have to pass Skills Tests innumeracy, literacy and ICT. Information on the arrangements for the tests can be found on the TDA web-site.


Having gained QTS, a newly qualified teacher is then required to serve a term of induction, normally one year or its part-time equivalent. In the course of the induction year a newly qualified teacher is required to demonstrate progress towards meeting the core standards. The core standards will no longer exist from September 2012, when they will be subsumed into the new “Teachers’ Standards”. Guidance surrounding the current core standards and their relationship to the induction process can be found at http://www.tda.gov.uk/teacher/nqt-induction.aspx.


Page Published: 17/10/2011