Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Changes to QTS for Overseas Trained Teachers

We have great news for Canadian, Australian, New Zealander & American teachers who are teaching in London, England.  From April 1st 2012, these teachers are automatically given their British QTS - which stands for Qualified Teacher Status.  QTS used to be something that our teachers concerned themselves with if they wanted to stay in the UK for longer than 4 years, but now they need not fret. 

Here's part of an email I just received that explains the changes to QTS:

From 1 April 2012, teachers who qualified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America (USA) will be recognised as qualified teachers and awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England without being required to undertake any further training or assessment. They will still be required to satisfy any UK Border Agency requirements that may apply to them for the purposes of entering or remaining in the UK to work as a teacher. In order to be awarded recognition as a qualified teacher, they will need to have satisfied both of the following conditions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA:

(a) they must have successfully completed a course of initial teacher training (ITT) which is recognised by the competent authority in that country; and

(b) successfully completed or satisfied any additional conditions, including any period of professional experience comparable to an induction period, which are required for employment on a permanent basis in government schools (schools wholly or mainly government funded) in Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA.

Teachers who are barred or subject to any restrictions on their eligibility to teach in their country of qualification will not be able to be recognised as qualified teachers in England. To be recognised as a fully qualified teacher in England, you must be able to teach as a fully qualified teacher in the country where you were trained.

Teachers who failed an assessment of the QTS standards as part of an ITT programme in England before 1st April 2012 will not be awarded QTS under these arrangements. They will need to undertake another course of ITT and meet all of the standards before they can be considered for QTS. Teachers who previously commenced but did not complete an ITT programme may still be considered for QTS without further training.

Applying for QTS

Teachers must apply to the Teaching Agency for the award of QTS before they can be recognised as qualified teachers. The downloadable application form should be completed and sent to the Teaching Agency with a letter confirming that that the teacher is both qualified and eligible to teach permanently in the country in question. Only letters from the recognised authority will be accepted for this purpose.

The Teaching Agency will verify that the individual is a fully qualified teacher in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA and has not been barred from teaching. Subject to satisfactory completion of these checks, the teacher will be issued 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 Teaching Agency’s database of teachers with QTS.

Resources for Teaching in London
Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
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  1. This is good news, but I have a few additional questions as I'm still a bit hazy on some things.

    My situation is that I was qualified in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and did not do any teaching in Canada prior to moving to the UK. I have been supply teaching in the UK since Feb 2010. Since I was not planning on teaching in Canada I did not apply to the Ontario College of Teachers, though I could apply at any time. Do I need to belong to the OCT before being able to get my QTS status? And what is the ITT? Do I need to take some kind of course since I never did an induction year in either country?

    Thanks for the post! Good information!

  2. Hi Meg
    Thanks for your comment & questions. I'm not the expert, but we've never had to show OCT (or any other provincial teacher organization) documents, as the UK looks at your university degree as proof that you are allowed to teach in your home country. So, I never paid my OCT dues either & I doubt it will become an issue now.

    See this article for more info:

    Also - the ITT is the Initial Teacher Training:

    I would suggest that you just follow the steps to receive your QTS as listed in the first link above and see what they say. It looks fairly simple to me, but you know how paperwork can get I'm sure! Please do keep us posted on your progress as I'm sure others will want to know.



    That link will take you to the application form, and you're right Meg - they do want a letter from the OCT. But it doesn't say membership, just a letter stating that you are both qualified and eligible to teach in your home country. Best to contact the OCT and ask what you need to do to get such a letter. Hopefully they won't make you pay their fees since you're not actually in Ontario.


Thanks for sharing your two pence!


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