The Wolf Report of 2011 highlighted that at the time QTLS was not recognised in schools. Alison Wolf recommended that: “QTLS – should be recognised in schools. This will enable schools to recruit qualified professionals to teach courses at school level (rather than bussing pupils to colleges) with clear efficiency gains.”
Based upon recommendations from this report, relevant regulations were updated in 2012. The instrument allowed:
“holders of Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status who are members of the Society for Education and Training (formerly the Institute for Learning) to teach in schools as qualified teachers without undergoing further training or assessment. It makes provision for the performance of QTLS holders in the maintained sector to be appraised against different standards from those that apply to other teachers”
This instrument also updated the previous regulations so that “holders of QTLS who are members of the Society for Education and Training (SET) have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and can be appointed to permanent positions as qualified teachers without undertaking further training.”
Furthermore, schools and local authorities were given “flexibility to choose which standards (including any relevant professional standards) are most appropriate to assess QTLS holders against in their appraisal”.
In all cases, the employing school will determine through robust recruitment processes whether a potential applicant holding QTLS has the requisite knowledge, experience and skills for the role and will also take into account that they have trained to teach in the Further Education and Skills sector.
Some schools may want to recruit teachers who can teach technical and vocational subjects, usually at key stages 3 and 4. Teachers with these skills are more likely to have trained to teach in the Further Education and Skills sector rather than through a school's ITT route.
FE teachers who hold QTLS and are members of the Society for Education and Training hold the professional status recognised in the Further Education and Skills sector and are committed to maintaining their professionalism and subject knowledge by maintaining current SET membership.
Maintained schools who recruit a teacher with QTLS and active membership of SET must pay them as qualified teachers on the relevant pay scale and treat them as if they hold QTS for the purposes of performance management, pay progression etc. – the Teachers’ Standards say more about this.
Other schools do not have to do this, they have the freedom to set their own terms and conditions, but many choose to maintain this parity and recognise the important knowledge and skills that FE trained teachers can bring to their subjects.
Whilst it would be down to recruiting school if they wish to consider an applicant who holds QTLS, the Society for Education and Training and the Department for Education highly recommend that it would not be appropriate for a teacher to use QTLS to secure employment within a primary school. Professional Formation has not been designed for teachers working in a primary school, it is designed for teachers in a post-14 Further Education and Skills setting.
The DfE guidance for early career teachers advises (Annex A: Exemptions) that QTLS achievement and an active SET membership is an example of where a qualified teacher may be employed in a relevant school in England without having satisfactorily completed an induction period. To be awarded QTLS, you undertook a period of Professional Formation following your initial teacher education. This is deemed equivalent to the mandatory induction period in schools.
The Teachers’ Standards set out the expectation that QTLS holders who teach in a school will be subject to the same performance management processes as their peers. Their employer has the choice of which standards they use to make those decisions. They can assess QTLS trained teachers against the Teachers’ Standards, any other set of standards relating to teachers’ performance published by the Secretary of State for Education, and/or the Professional Standards for FE teachers.
The regulations make allowances for SET members who hold QTLS to be employed as a qualified teacher in a maintained school, recognising that there will be some circumstances where this would be beneficial to schools. The Teachers’ Standards explain why this was done. The DfE’s intention is not to provide an alternative route to QTS for those who do not hold a degree, it is to allow schools to employ excellent technical and vocational teachers should they wish to so that they can offer a broad and balanced curriculum at secondary level.
If you are thinking about teaching in Further Education, then the Teaching in Further Education site will provide information to outline the options available to you. If you think teaching in a school might be your preference, then you should contact Get Into Teaching to discuss the various routes available.
The Society for Education and Training can confirm whether someone has been awarded QTLS. School employers can check a person’s QTLS status using the Professional Status register on the SET website, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone.
Please note that some members have chosen not to be listed on the register, so if you believe a person holds QTLS who is not on the register then please call 0800 093 9111 (free number) or email us at email@example.com for confirmation.
You will also need to confirm that they continue to be a member of the Society for Education and Training in order to maintain their equivalence to QTS for employment purposes.
FE teachers are not issued with a TRN as a matter of course as they only relate to teaching in a school. If you employ a teacher with QTLS you will need to contact Capita Teachers' Pensions to request that a Teacher Reference Number be allocated to them.
Capita will then contact SET to confirm the date when QTLS was awarded to you so that a reference number can be allocated. Please note that SET cannot do this on behalf of a school.
As FE teachers are not regulated by DfE, SET are no longer notified of any prohibition notices that are issued relating to those holding QTLS. Schools should continue to check with the TRA against the list of teachers who are subject to prohibition or interim prohibition orders and who should not be employed in a school.
SET can also confirm if the member of staff you intend to employ has gained QTLS and remains in good standing as a registered member. If you require such confirmation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.