White Paper: End of QTS as bar is raised for new teachers

Department for Education announces plans for ‘more challenging’ system to replace QTS

Ministers are to “raise the bar” for new teachers by replacing qualified teacher status (QTS) with a “more challenging” new accreditation system, the Department for Education has announced.

Under the plan, set out in an education white paper published this morning, teachers will have to demonstrate proficiency, including subject knowledge, over a “sustained period in the classroom”.

The white paper says the current system for awarding QTS uses a “comparatively low” bar because it is handed to new teachers before they have “significant experience of life in the classroom”.

“We propose to raise the bar for new teachers,” the white paper says.

“This new accreditation will raise the quality and status of the teaching profession, better recognising advanced subject knowledge and pedagogy that is rooted in up-to-date evidence,” the white paper says.

It says lawyers and accountants spend years training before they are fully qualified and that by contrast, teachers on postgraduate training routes spend just 120 days in the classroom before being awarded QTS.

TES understands sources at the Department for Education do not believe the reform will have a significant negative effect on teacher recruitment, and instead believe it could improve recruitment by raising the status of the profession, making it attractive to the best graduates.

Sources said the new approach would be less “high stakes” than the current system, in which trainee teachers either passed or failed after a year’s training. Instead, it would be a “flexible” approach in which teachers could work at a school for as long as it took for them to meet a set standard, receiving accreditation once they did.

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