International Qualified Teacher Status: what is it?


International Qualified Teacher Status (iQTS) is a new, UK government-backed international teaching qualification which will be recognised by the Department for Education (DfE) as equivalent to English qualified teacher status (QTS). 

It will be delivered by accredited English ITT providers to trainees all over the world.

The DfE explains that the aims of iQTS are to:

  • Provide opportunities for accredited English ITT providers to expand into the growing international teacher training market
  • Make high quality training accessible around the world, allow trainees to benefit from evidence-based ITT and allow schools to develop local talent
  • Increase the global pool of quality teachers and support global mobility within the teaching profession

Pilot courses will begin in September 2022. Approved pilot providers will begin recruiting candidates in early 2022. There are limited spaces available for the pilot.

Information about how to apply for candidates interested in iQTS will be provided following the appointment of pilot providers.

International Qualified Teacher Status: who is it for?

iQTS is suitable for candidates living outside the UK, including:

  • UK citizens currently working abroad who wish to start teacher training or develop their teaching career
  • Non-UK citizens who wish to begin teacher training or build on existing teaching experience
  • UK and non-UK teachers without QTS who wish to improve their employability in England and internationally with a UK government-backed and approved professional qualification

To apply for iQTS you will need to have:

  • A bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, from a UK or non-UK university
  • Achieved a standard equivalent to grade 4 in GCSE mathematics
  • For teaching children aged 3 to 11 (equivalent to English primary school), achieved a standard equivalent to grade 4 in a GCSE science (biology, chemistry or physics) subject
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the English language (you’ll need an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher, the equivalent score in another English language testing system, or to have completed some of your education in English, for example, a degree studied in English)

International Qualified Teacher Status: delivering the training

Candidates will complete the iQTS training programme without needing to visit the UK. Training will be delivered in English and consist of a year of study alongside teaching practice in schools, including:

  • Tuition from the iQTS English teacher training provider, delivered largely using remote working technology
  • Face-to-face mentoring at the candidate’s placement school
  • Regular feedback and rigorous assessment

Gaining English QTS

iQTS will be recognised as equivalent to QTS by DfE, subject to the will of Parliament, via an amendment to regulations. This means that iQTS holders will be able to apply to gain QTS in order to teach in England.

Those who have successfully completed the iQTS qualification will be eligible to apply for the professional status of QTS through DfE’s system for recognising overseas school teachers for QTS.

Once awarded iQTS by their provider, if a candidate wishes to gain QTS they will apply to the DfE alongside other teachers who are already eligible for QTS on the basis of having an overseas qualification.

We have written another support article on teaching in England if you have qualified from outside the UK.

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