The QTS debate – Should all tutors have QTS?

As an agency that was founded by qualified teachers, when we started, we had huge reservations about working with tutors without QTS. We therefore understand the concerns that some parents or students may have about working with tutors that do not have QTS.

For those that may not be aware, QTS (Qualified teacher status) is the certificate awarded to teachers that have undergone formal training to become a teacher. It is awarded by The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL ), an executive agency of the Department for Education.

Over the past few years, we have had to change our stance on QTS. These are the three main reasons we have become more open to tutors without QTS.

1. Some of the best teachers from top independent school and top state schools, do not have QTS

QTS which was initially created to raise the quality of teaching in state schools, not independent schools. This means that teachers working in independent schools are not required to have QTS and by limiting our recruitment to QTS, we ultimately close our doors to current teachers or retired teachers from some of the best independent schools.

In addition to this, in 2012, the laws in England changed with regards to QTS. Teachers in state schools are no longer required to have QTS. This means that some teachers that have been graded ‘Outstanding’ by Oftsed and work in excellent state schools may not actually hold Qualified Teacher Status.


2. There are a large number of overseas trained teachers (with or without QTS) that do an excellent job!

It’s very easy to assume that overseas trained teachers are not as aware of the UK teaching methodology, national curriculum or examination board syllabus.

However, many overseas trained teachers that move to the UK, continue to work as teachers in state and independent schools.

Many overseas trained teachers have taken on postgraduate studies in the UK and a large majority have achieved the UK QTS in order to validate their knowledge and existing qualifications. They have teaching certificates that are equivalent to QTS and in some cases they are awarded the Overseas trained teacher QTS certificate.

By limiting our recruitment to tutors with UK QTS only, we are excluding some of the overseas trained teachers with excellent track record, that have been teaching and tutoring in the UK for many years, in some cases 30 or more years.

3. Reviews are a more realistic way of monitoring the quality of tutoring provided by our tutors.

QTS can be awarded through a range of routes and we have seen a wide range in the quality of teaching provided by teachers with QTS.

Unfortunately, QTS does not take personality and motivations into account. It is a series of minimum standards that a teacher must meet.

This means that we have had met tutors with QTS that have worked in schools for many years but have achieved relatively poor feedback from clients. Likewise, we have had tutors without QTS, that are relatively new to the profession and continually received outstanding feedback.

We are therefore more interested in the feedback from parents and students as this is a better indication of the quality of tuition provided by that particular tutor.

Whatever your concerns may be about QTS, remember that you can find details of tutor degree certificates, qualifications and awards (including QTS) on the tutor’s profile. Most importantly, you will find feedback from previous clients on the tutor’s profile and we still believe that this is the best indicator of the quality of tuition you can expect for that particular tutor.

If you would like to register with WISE tutors and view profiles of tutors based on your required location, tuition subject and level, call us on 020 33182255.

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