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Questions and Answers
QTS stands for Qualified Teacher Status. This is awarded to a teacher who has completed an appropriate teaching qualification and is deemed to uphold the professional code of the DfE Teaching Agency.
You need QTS or equivalent to work as a teacher in maintained schools and non-maintained schools in England and Wales. It is possible to gain QTS whilst teaching in the UK provided that the host school agrees to sponsor the individual. For further details on obtaining QTS by this route call the Teaching Information Line on 0800 389 2500 when you are in the UK or visit http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching.
If you qualified as a schoolteacher in another country you will need to gain Qualified Teacher Status BEFORE you can work as a PERMANENT, QUALIFIED TEACHER in England.
However, if you are an Overseas Trained Teacher (OTT) you can work as a ‘temporary teacher’ or 'unqualified teacher' for up to FOUR YEARS without QTS. If you do not attain QTS in within 4 years of your first teaching day in the UK you legally will not be able to teach in England.
Teachers in Independent Schools, City Technology Colleges and Further Education Institutions (including Sixth Form Colleges) are not legally obliged to have QTS.
You need QTS to:
Secure a permanent post
Progress to higher pay bands or senior management posts in maintained schools.
How to gain QTS
The DfE Teaching Agency runs OTT's Programme to give them the opportunity to gain QTS while they work in a school. On the OTT Programme the school pays the trainees' salary.
OTT's with at least TWO YEARS teaching experience may be eligible for assessment against the Induction Standards and QTS Standards at the same time. THOSE WHO ARE SUCCESSFUL WILL BE EXEMPT FROM SERVING AN INDUCTION PERIOD. The DfE Teaching Agency arrange for an assessor to come and visit you in your school.
The DfE Teaching Agency runs a free advisory visit scheme to help the teacher and school decide which option is best.
Qualifying in different types of schools
Schools need to provide you with an opportunity to teach the National Curriculum to pupils of a compulsory school age, across one of the required age ranges for QTS. There are exceptions!!!
Nursery Schools and other Early Years settings need also to arrange experience across the full 3 to 8 age range with a Primary School.
Sixth Form and Further Education Colleges need also to arrange experience across the full 14 to 18 range with a Secondary School.
Special Schools and Units need to consider whether you need an arrangement with a mainstream school in order to show that you can teach the National Curriculum to pupils whose chronological age matches the Key Stage.
No, overseas trained teachers (OTT) from non-EU countries can be employed in temporary posts, either in one school or a number of schools for a total of four years.
Overseas teachers can now work in the UK for 4 years without QTS.
To obtain QTS you can follow two routes
- Postgraduate modular - to apply contact the Teaching Information Line on +44 (0)800 389 2500
- Employment based (you must be at least 24 years old). Before you start you need to work in a school that is prepared to make a full contribution to your training programme. For a list of schools that will do this call the Teaching Information Line on +44 (0)800 389 2500.
- Graduate teaching programme (GTP) takes 1 year and is for people with a degree. If they have teaching experience can take as little as three months.
- Registered teacher programme (RTP) is for those without a degree but two years higher education. It takes two years and you study for a degree while training.
All teachers working in the maintained sector are paid according to the Main Pay Scale. This ensures that teachers’ pay is proportionate to their experience, level of qualification, level of responsibility and the cost of living in their area.
Classroom teachers begin on the main pay scale (MPS). This is broken down according to location into England and Wales, Inner London, Outer London and Fringe. This scale runs from M1 to M6. Each September teachers move up a point on the scale subject to satisfactory performance. It should be noted that at least one period per week must be completed over a twenty-six week period to count as a ‘year in teaching’.
Upon reaching the top of the main pay scale a teacher will be assessed against eight national standards. If successful they will have the opportunity to be assessed to cross the ‘threshold’ to the upper pay scale (UPS). This scale runs from U1 to U5.
Additional salary points and opportunities to earn are made available for further specialism or responsibility.
Provided that your PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) provides you with Qualified Teacher Status it is not unusual for you to move from secondary to primary and vice-versa. Please note that a PGCE in Further Education does not lead to QTS for compulsory phases of education (primary and secondary). It should also be noted that it is markedly harder to move from primary to secondary education – a secondary school teacher must have a subject specialism that they are able to teach up to year 10.
A CRB is the common term used to refer to a background check performed by the Criminal Records Bureau. A clear ‘enhanced disclosure’ from the CRB is an essential pre-requisite for any person who wishes to work with children or vulnerable adults, regardless of their job-role.
Enhanced disclosure takes between four and six weeks (possibly even longer) from initial application. You cannot work in the presence of children or vulnerable adults until this is returned. CRB checks are said to be valid for three years. If you want to work for someone other than the company that got you your CRB it must be less than one year old or you will need to apply for another one.
Currently, the Bureau charges Axcis £34 for an enhanced disclosure. If you do not have one or need a new CRB disclosure, Axcis can apply for one at no additional charge. Note: Is you have recently moved to the UK it is best to wait three months before you apply for a CRB. You can still work with a valid CRB / Police check from your home country.
For further information on services, your rights, and details of the check, please see www.crb.org.uk.
The DfE, or the Department for Education and Skills, is the agency responsible for education in England and is headed by the Secretary of State. The goals of the DfE are; “to give children an excellent start in education, enable young people to equip themselves with life and work skills and encourage adults to achieve their full potential through learning.” More information on the DfE can be found on their website at www.education.gov.uk.
The National Curriculum (NC) is the outlined educational requirement for pupils of a compulsory school age (5-16yrs). It is organised on the basis of five key stages: 1 applies to children aged 3-5, 2 & 3 are applicable to primary schools and 4 & 5 to secondary schools. For a comprehensive summary of the national curriculum visit www.nc.uk.net. The site links every National Curriculum programme of study requirement to resources on the Curriculum Online.
A state school if Government funded and Independent schools are privately funded.
There are several types of state schools forming what is referred to as the ‘maintained sector’. Essentially, the significant differences between the maintained and independent sector are in funding.
A maintained school is owned and funded by an external body. This is usually the Local Education Authority for that area, a charitable organisation or a church foundation. Schools in the maintained sector have to deliver the national curriculum.
An independent school is usually funded by fee-paying students and is not maintained by the local authority or central government. Such a school is not required to follow the national curriculum, although the majority do.
For more see Schools in the UK.
Most of the time this is the case but not always. Most teachers plan well in advance and if the need for supply has been anticipated it is normal for a school to provide a visiting teacher with a plan for the day. If a supply teacher has to be called in at short notice it is unlikely that a specific lesson will have been prepared for them in advance, though in this instance it should still be easy to establish the curriculum area that the class is currently studying from the absent teachers plans. Try and give yourself as much time to prepare as possible. There are a large number of resources and downloadable lesson plans available on the Internet. See Axcis resources for links to external websites.
Rates vary depending on your experience, the area of the UK you work and length of service. We also have higher rates for long-term placements and the responsibility of the position with bonuses when the assignment is completed.
As a qualified teacher your skills are in demand. The key is to be as flexible as possible with regards the location in which you would like to work. Some areas have acute shortages and others have none.
Our aim is to find the right post for you. Please ensure when you register online you record your qualifications, skills and locations you would like to work. It may take 10 minutes to register but we don’t ask for any information we don’t need to find you a position that you will be more than happy with. Rather than having to go back and forth with questions we can simply contact you when we have appropriate positions.
If you would like to get to know the school before taking up a full time position, we can arrange for you to work a trial day at the school. This allows you to make an educated decision on the suitability of the school. Or you can start work on a long term supply basis for a term that may be extended and lead to a permanent placement.
Any teacher with Qualified Teacher Status* (QTS) can return to the teaching profession to either a permanent or supply role at any time. There is no mandatory course they would have to take. As an agency, Axcis prefer teachers who have not been working for five years to do a refresher course.
For more info look at the DfE website pages for returning to teaching, they have a list of courses available.
It is the policy of Axcis not to employ teachers (supply teachers) who have been out of the teaching profession for more than five years and we usually require them to have worked in the past two. We can introduce such teachers directly to schools for permanent placement.
Under current regulations as an NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) in the UK you are allowed to split your induction year into three separate one-term assignments in different schools.
You can also work for up to five years on short-term supply while you are looking for a permanent position. After five years from gaining QTS you must be in a teaching post where you can begin your induction.
At Axcis we’ll help to provide you with the opportunity to complete your induction in a school where you can receive the appropriate support, assessment and monitoring for your specific requirements.
The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED), officially the Office of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in England, is a non-ministerial government department, independent from the Department for Education & Employment. Its remit is to improve standards of achievement and quality of education through regular independent inspection of early years provision, schools, local authority adult education, local education authorities, further education, and teacher training. This site contains reports on the quality of Education being delivered in all the schools in the UK and is a useful resource when deciding if a school is right for you
Visit the website: www.ofsted.gov.uk