The first steps to an improved qualified teacher status?


Teachers may soon have to wait longer to gain qualified teacher status, under proposals unveiled by the Department for Education.

It is suggested that an additional year of training, which includes a two-year induction in a school, should be the minimal requirement for achieving QTS status.

The proposals form part of a consultation document highlighting ways to boost career progression and to “strengthen” QTS.

A further recommendation includes the development of an ‘early career content framework’, which would detail the essential skills that all teachers require.

Among the competencies to be considered are knowledge of the basic subject and curriculum, behaviour management, support for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and an understanding of assessment processes.

The plans come after Education Secretary Justine Greening said earlier this year that the DfE would reform QTS from September 2019.

Ms Greening said the new proposals aim to enhance the support available to teachers from the moment they begin their careers.

“Great teachers help unlock children’s talents, so investing in them is vital if we want to drive school improvement across the country,” she said.

“We’re taking steps to make sure high-quality professional development is a fundamental part of a teacher’s career, whether they decide to move into a leadership role or want to continue teaching in the classroom.”

Those that have successfully completed their initial teaching training (ITT) through university or school-led routes currently have to complete a one year induction prior to gaining qualified teacher status.

However, new terminology could soon recognise the completion of ITT, such as ‘QTS (Provisional)’ or ‘Associate Teacher Status’.

This would reflect the fact that the induction must still be completed, so that the award of QTS will “align with the point at which teachers have no restrictions on their practice”. 

It’s important to stress that the Department for Education believes that major alterations to the current set up are not needed and that head teachers will remain responsible for assessing their newly qualified teachers.

Nevertheless, an appropriate body may be used to verify the assessment, alongside new guidance to ensure that teachers are ready for all that the role entails.

By lengthening the period it takes to qualify, teachers should gain valuable insight and experience, while there are no plans to alter teachers’ rights and pay.

At the same time, the consultation document also recognises that there are a growing number of new routes into teacher that differ to the standard qualified teacher status process.

It reiterates a commitment to ensuring that “proposals work for all new entrants to teaching” and adds that a failure to do that may have a negative impact on teacher recruitment.