Overseas Trained Teachers

Qualified teacher status (QTS) is the professional status teachers in England gain at the end of their teacher training.


Teachers who qualified outside the UK can work in English schools for up to 4 years without QTS. However, obtaining QTS will make it easier for you to find work and develop your career as a teacher.


This is because QTS is a legal requirement in maintained schools in England (the majority of teachers in academies and free schools also have QTS) when the 4-year exemption period is up.


The 4-year rule exemption

Overseas applicants do not need QTS to teach in maintained schools in England for the first 4 years of their stay in the UK, an exemption known as the ‘4-year rule’.


Gaining QTS in England

From 1 February 2023, teachers from eligible countries who can show they meet a consistent set of criteria, can apply for QTS.


You must:

  • have an undergraduate degree of the same academic standard as a UK bachelor’s degree, as verified by UK ENIC
  • have completed teacher training that meets the standard of a level 6 qualification
  • have completed a course with content that is practically and pedagogically focused
  • be qualified to teach children aged between 5 and 16 years
  • have at least one school year of professional experience working as a teacher after qualifying
  • have the professional status needed to be a teacher in the country where you qualified
  • meet certain stand of English language proficiency


Once awarded QTS, overseas teachers who come to England with less than 2 school years’ experience will complete statutory induction and undertake development support based on the Early Career Framework.


More detail and further information can be found here: Awarding QTS to overseas teachers

Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world.


Nelson Mandela