Certified Teacher - United Kingdom - England and Wales

England and Wales

In England and Wales teachers in the maintained sector must have gained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and be registered with either the General Teaching Council for England or the General Teaching Council for Wales. There are many paths in which a person can work towards gaining their QTS, the most popular of which is to have completed a first degree (such as a BA or BSc) and then a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Other methods include a specific teaching degree or on-the-job training at a school. All qualified teachers in England must serve, after training, a statutory one year induction period that must be passed in order to remain a registered teacher. In Wales this period lasts for two years. During this period a teacher is known as an NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher). Schools are obliged to provide guidance, support and training to facilitate the NQT's success during this year. Local education authorities are also obliged to provide professional development opportunities.

Teachers in independent schools are not statutorily required to hold QTS, although independent schools increasingly prefer teachers to hold this qualification unless they have already gained significant teaching experience. The post-experience PGCE at the University of Buckingham is designed for independent school teachers. Some specialist independent schools, such as those following Montessori principles, require teachers trained in that specific educational philosophy.

The Teach First scheme, aimed at recent graduates, was introduced in 2003 in London and more recently in Manchester and it allows trainees to teach in schools without the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). After an intense period of training in the summer following graduation, trainees are placed in secondary schools. Following the successful completion of the first year, trainee teachers gain QTS status and a PGCE and may then continue teaching for a minimum of one year.

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