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How do I qualify to be a teacher?

Neil Denby How can I qualify to be a teacher Ask an expert

If you're asking yourself what you need to qualify as a teacher, we hope this excerpt from Training to Teach by Neil Denby is a useful summary to start off with.

At present, you need to achieve the standards required to gain Qualified Teacher Status, with the current standards being those published in September 2012. This is the accreditation that will enable you to teach in state-maintained and special schools in England and Wales. The requirements in Northern Ireland and Scotland are slightly different, so if that is where you intend to train you will need to check those requirements. You will not need the QTS qualification if you wish to teach in the independent sector – you will, however, still need the knowledge and skills explored in this book.

Your initial teacher training (ITT) provider will recommend you for QTS to the Department for Education (DfE). The award is automatic: no further study is required. To gain accreditation you must follow a course of initial teacher training and meet all of the standards as set out by the government body responsible. These standards are a set of statements that specify, in a formal way, the knowledge, understanding, skills and experiences that you must demonstrate. They provide the first stage in a continuum of teacher development from trainee to qualified teacher status (on successful completion of the induction year) through to excellent and advanced skills teachers.

Teacher training standards can be grouped under three headings:

  • Professional values and practice. Regarding the attitudes and commitment expected of anyone qualifying to be a teacher. Fairness, honesty, integrity and mutual respect will feature highly.
  • Knowledge and understanding. Regarding the required and expected levels of subject knowledge from the teacher, along with expectations of what pupils should achieve.
  • Teaching. These relate to the skill set needed to deliver effective lessons, such as managing a class, assessment and monitoring progress. Teaching standards in Wales are similar but cover some issues specific to Wales. In addition, in order to teach in England, you must pass the QTS skills tests in numeracy, literacy and information and communications technology (ICT).


SAGE Education sample book chapter Find out more about teacher training - read the first chapter of Training to Teach for free.