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.


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  1. Julia Holcomb

    I think a system which gives head teachers this much authority–oh, well, let us call it what it is–this much power–over which teachers qualify is open to dangerous abuse.

    • Julia agree we have the same system in the law profession. I have been waiting for 10 years to qualify in the end if the person does not like you then you never qualify. The law profession is one of these areas and in the end you just a get a bunch of people through homophily that approve and sign off qualifying status. I currently manager lawyers at work but still I cannot call myself a lawyer. Sadly the same will happen with teaching (politics) wil dictate who becomes qualified. For example in my role a lot of more wining and dinning, plus sucking up to someone may get me qualified but I am not prepared to do this!

  2. I am from from the Caribbean island of Jamaica, it should not be left to the Principals of any institution to decide if a trainee is awarded the QTS, the training institution in which the trainee teacher must play a vital role in this process. A trainee should not be awarded QTS until after that critical year of NQT and it should be the university who awarded the QTS as the trainee should be under constant scrutiny by the training provider and not the school principals.

    I had the shock of my life how the British primary and secondary systems were in a shambles when I first immigrate to England as Mathematics and Computer Science teacher from Jamaica after 10 years of teaching.

  3. Roxy Lorraine Barrass

    I truly believe the industry cannot afford to be picky. It’s almost a stab in the back to those of us that really want to be a part of the education system…. I’m 25 & came out of full time work to become an English Teacher & jumped through hoops to get into a course where I worked my a**e off for 3 years and got my BA & QTS Status so I can start my career. Now I hear that could be in jeopardy.
    May I also add that my QTS year – we are joined by those doing the PGCE – BECAUSE THEY DO THE SAME WORK TO QUALIFY. Shock.
    It WILL put people off. People are already ‘put off’ by the whole profession generally – and those of us strong enough to want to be a part of it – they’re chucking us more hoops to jump through instead of getting us into the classroom and allowing us to develop in places where it really counts… I’m evidently wasting my breath. Don’t even know why I took 5 minutes to write this out…. frustrated. Angry. Unappreciated.