iQTS: DfE delivers plans for 2022 pilot

This week the DfE produced the document outlining the plans for its new international teacher preparation qualification.

The DfE document states that the iQTS is a new, UK government-backed international teaching qualification which will be recognised by the Department for Education (DfE) (via an amendment to regulations) as equivalent to English qualified teacher status (QTS). It will be delivered by accredited English ITT providers to trainees all over the world.

The DfE cites that the aims of iQTS are to be:

  • provide opportunities for accredited English ITT providers to expand into the growing international teacher training market
  • make high quality training accessible around the world, allow trainees to benefit from evidence-based ITT and allow schools to develop local talent
  • increase the global pool of quality teachers and support global mobility within the teaching profession

According to the DfE the iQTS is built on evidence-based English methods and standards of teacher training with contextualisation for the wide variety of settings trainees may be in.

To be eligible providers of the pilot must be:

  • approved by DfE to offer iQTS
  • already accredited to deliver ITT leading to QTS in England

Introducing the international qualified teacher status (iQTS) pilot – GOV.UK (

Also according to the DfE, iQTS is suitable for candidates living outside the UK, including:

  • UK citizens currently working abroad who wish to start teacher training or develop their teaching career
  • non-UK citizens who wish to begin teacher training or build on existing teaching experience
  • UK and non-UK teachers without QTS who wish to improve their employability in England and internationally with a UK government-backed and approved professional qualification

iQTS will be recognised as equivalent to QTS by DfE, although at present that outcome is still subject to the will of Parliament, via an amendment to regulations. When approved by Parliament this will mean that iQTS holders will be able to apply to gain QTS in order to teach in England. Those who have successfully completed the iQTS qualification will be eligible to apply for the professional status of QTS through DfE’s system for recognising overseas school teachers for QTS.

Once awarded iQTS by their provider, if a candidate wishes to gain QTS they will apply to the DfE alongside other teachers who are already eligible for QTS on the basis of having an overseas qualification.

If the iQTS holder then wishes to teach in a maintained school or non-maintained special school in England, they will need to complete an induction period in order to work in a relevant school. They will be able to complete their induction either in a DfE-accredited British School Overseas (BSO) or in a relevant school in England. During their induction, they will be assessed against English Teachers’ Standards.

Providers who wish to offer iQTS will:

  • run their own application process,
  • set course fees
  • award the qualification at the end of the course provided all of the iQTS Teachers’ Standards have been met.

The pilot year will be used to test, learn from and iterate the framework. The DfE state it is their intention to make iQTS available to all interested accredited ITT providers by September 2023 after the pilot year is complete.

This announcement comes before this afternoon’s House of Lords debate on Initial Teacher Training. The government’s plans for the shake-up of ITT in England have yet to surface and it will be interesting to hear what the Minister has to say in the Upper Chamber this afternoon on either the place of England in the global teacher preparation market or their plans for the home market.

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