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How to become a teacher after qualifying

Find out how to qualify to teach in different countries of the UK, and learn about Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) induction.

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CONTENTS

  1. Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

  2. Teaching in Scotland

  3. Teaching in Northern Ireland

  4. Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) induction

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

England and Wales

If you trained in England or Wales, completion of the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) leads to QTS. As a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT), you’ll need to complete an induction year to gain full professional status. You’ll fully register with the DfE if you trained in England, or the Education Workforce Council (EWC) if you trained in Wales.

Scotland and Northern Ireland

If you trained in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you’ll need QTS to teach in a maintained school or non-maintained special school in England or Wales. If you’re fully registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland or Northern Ireland, you’re likely to be given QTS in England and Wales.

European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US

If you’re from any of these areas, you can apply for QTS – see detailed information on the UK government website.

Teaching in Scotland

If you practice in a Scottish state school, you must be registered with the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS). If you qualified to teach in a Scottish institution, you’ll be provisionally registered with the GTCS. You can gain full registration after completing a probation year.

If you trained as a teacher in another UK country or any other country outside the EEA, you’ll need to apply for registration with the GTCS to teach in Scotland. If you’re an EEA/EU or Swiss national recognised as a teacher in your country, you may be eligible for registration with the GTCS under European law. You can apply if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Teaching in Northern Ireland

If you want to practise in a state-funded school in Northern Ireland, you must be registered with the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI).

If you’re taking a course of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Northern Ireland, GTCNI’s registration team will visit your institution and collect completed registration forms. When you complete the ITE and a probation year you'll automatically register with the GTCNI. If you qualified elsewhere in the UK, you’re eligible to apply for registration with the GTCNI.

If you trained in another European Economic Area (EEA)/European Union (EU) member state or Switzerland, you may be eligible for registration with the GTCNI under European Union law. If you trained outside the EEA/EU or Switzerland, you may be eligible for registration with the GTCNI if your teaching qualification is recognised by the council. The relevant registration form is downloadable on the GTCNI website.

Teacher educating two students

Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) induction

As a Newly Qualified Teacher, you must complete an induction/probation year or programme to become fully registered with your country’s teaching profession regulatory body.

England and Wales

You must have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) before beginning the induction year. Your induction can take place in almost any state school, academy, free school or independent school (excluding underperforming schools or schools with 'special measures' imposed).

The induction period takes place across three school terms, either on a full- or part-time basis. Periods of supply teaching can count towards your induction year.

Induction includes a personalised programme of development support overseen by an induction tutor. Content is assessed against the professional teaching standards as set out by DfE.

You’re regularly observed and assessed. After your final assessment, your headteacher reports to the relevant body stating whether you’ve made enough progress towards meeting the professional standards.

The relevant body will decide whether you meet the professional requirements of a teacher. If you do, you’ll receive full professional status.

Scotland

If you trained in Scotland, you’re provisionally registered with GTCS as a probation teacher. To fully register, you must complete an induction year. There are two routes:

  • Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) – a guaranteed one-year training post to every eligible student who qualified at a Scottish university
  • Flexible route – you complete the induction period if you decide against the TIS, are ineligible for it, are unable to commit to a full one-year post, or aren’t practising in a Scottish state school

Your induction year will follow a structured process where you develop your 'probation profile'. Once the GTCS is satisfied, you can become fully registered.

If you trained and are practising outside Scotland, you must complete the induction year to fully register with the GTCS.

Northern Ireland

If you complete your ITE in Northern Ireland, you’re provisionally registered with the GTCNI. You’ll be known as a Beginning Teacher.

To become fully registered, all Beginning Teachers must complete the Northern Ireland Induction and Early Professional Development Programme, which includes:

  • A one-year induction where you engage with competency-based professional development and present a portfolio as evidence of meeting the professional competencies set out by the GTCNI
  • Early Professional Development (taking two years to complete and changing focus from teaching to learning) where you engage with professional competency development and present evidence via a portfolio
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