White Paper: QTS will be replaced by ‘tougher accreditation’

White Paper: QTS will be replaced by 'tougher accreditation'

The government plans to replace qualified teacher status (QTS) with a new, tougher, accreditation in a bid to “raise the bar”.

A shake up of QTS is set out in the Department for Education’s White Paper today.

The government said a “stronger accreditation” will be introduced, in which teachers will only receive QTS when they have “demonstrated proficiency” in areas such as behaviour management and subject knowledge, and decisions will be made by their headteacher, and approved by a teaching school or SCITT.

Although, as all schools are intended to become academies, the White Paper acknowledges that such schools can employ teachers as they see fit – i.e. without QTS.

The government has acknowledged sector concerns about an impending recruitment crisis, saying: “We recognise that teacher recruitment is becoming more difficult as the economy grows stronger and competition for the best candidates increases. The challenges are particularly acute in some areas of the country and the number of teachers we need is increasing as pupil numbers grow.”

Schools Week understands the new measures are not expected by the government to impact on recruitment and it is believed it will make it “more attractive”. The government will talk “very closely” with the profession, allowing them to set the qualification at a level recognised as a “well-performing teacher in a classroom”, and at a point when trainees are capable of meeting that bar.

Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We welcome plans to replace existing QTS with a new system in which teachers will complete an extended period in classrooms before being accredited by school leaders.

“We believe this will help to ensure the highest standards and that it will be good for both new teachers and for schools. We look forward to working with the Government on the detailed plans.”

As announced in September, the government has confirmed it will pilot a programme to encourage qualified secondary school teachers to return to the classroom. Schools will be entitled to cash for each returning teacher working at their school.