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Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) Status

Individuals with Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status, who are Society for Education and Training (SET) members, are able to work in schools in England, according to guidance by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (National College). The information also states that it is the decision of schools and local authorities (LAs) as to the suitability of a person with QTLS status to teach a certain subject.

According to the SET website, those with QTLS status are able to teach all ages across all subjects, are entitled to equal pay and conditions, and do not have to complete a statutory induction period. Schools are advised to check the QTLS register on a regular basis (they can decide how often they do this), to make sure that the teachers in question are still members. The professional status register can be found at the following link:

Qualifications required for QTLS status

In order to be able to apply for Qualified Teaching and Learning Skills, an individual is required to have achieved an initial teaching qualification (ITE) of at least Level 5, which is equivalent to a Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) or Diploma in Education and Training (DET). A list of accepted qualifications can be found at

The person in question must also have English and Maths qualifications at Level 2 or above, be able to identify a ‘supporter’ – a qualified teacher who will support them through the process – and provide evidence within their application of current practice (commencing from the date that they registered for professional formation).

There is also a recognition route to QTLS for any people with a great deal of teaching experience, who have not achieved the required qualifications. This route allows these individuals to demonstrate their experience and therefore gain recognition which is the equivalent of a teacher training qualification. More information can be found at

Achieving QTLS Status

Individuals need to apply to the Society for Education and Training in order to apply for QTLS.

QTLS status is awarded to those who have completed a professional formation, having demonstrated use of their knowledge and skills in their profession. The time taken to complete professional formation will depend on a person’s individual circumstances. It is a post-qualification process and enables the candidate to demonstrate, through their profession, that they are able to use the knowledge and skills they gained during their teacher training, and apply the professional standards which are required of all teachers.

Individuals without QTLS Status

It is possible for people who don’t have QTLS to be employed within schools as unqualified teachers. Free schools are able to employ individuals who don’t have QTS status, but are suitably qualified or eligible, as are alternate and mainstream provision academies which were established on or after 27th July 2012. It is possible for those organisations formed before this date to do so too, providing they request a change to be made to their funding agreements. Free schools and special academies are advised to look at their own funding agreements to find out more information.

Prohibition from teaching checks

It’s possible to establish whether an individual with QTLS status has a prohibition from teaching check, despite the person not having a teacher reference number (TRN), which is usually needed to conduct this check. Schools are able to use the Department for Education’s Teacher Services System to check individuals with current sanctions, restrictions and prohibitions, including:

  • Those who haven’t completed their probation or induction period successfully.
  • Individuals who are banned from teaching in England.
  • People who aren’t permitted to help manage an independent school, which includes free schools and academies
  • Individuals who, since 18th January 2016, have had a current European Economic Area (EEA) member state sanction imposed upon them by a regulator of the teaching profession.
  • Teachers who were suspended or given a conditional order by the General Teaching Council for England (before it was abolished).