QTS or PGCE – Difference Between PGCE and QTS Qualifications

Changing careers or looking to start you’re working life as a school teacher in England or Wales you’ll require training as a teacher and be recognised as a school teacher that’s qualified.

There are a number of undergraduate and postgraduate teacher training courses available to choose from qualifying you as a school teacher and providing theory, knowledge & understanding of educational issues.

Should I have QTS or PGCE to teach in UK schools?

QTS gives qualified teacher status for teaching in any England & Wales schools. A PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) is only a vocational qualification providing training & study for school teachers.

Primary, early years & secondary (Wales & England) teachers can teach with just QTS status as PGCE is not a requirement for qualified school teachers of 3-18 year old pupils.

Qualified teacher employability in England’s schools

Should you wish teach in England’s schools opting between PGCE v QTS status choose QTS as it instantly mean you’re fully qualified to teach in schools, where a PGCE doesn’t.

To be a fully qualified teacher for school pupils England’s Get Into Teaching explains:

“You need qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in maintained primary, secondary and special schools in England. These are schools funded by local authorities”.

Get Into Teaching

Although a PGCE is not required if you have QTS for qualified school teachers in England, job descriptions and school employers like to employ class teachers with both QTS and PGCE teacher training qualification.

Should I have QTS or PGCE to teach in UK schools

I was awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) following 11 months full time university study and months of classroom teaching practice on school placements.

The PGCE university study provided me with various theory & practical knowledge on how to teach a class of school children, national curriculum, lesson planning, marking, assessment and other tasks as a teacher.

Intensive year of a PGCE provides a foundation of skills & teaching practice in the classroom with educational theory that benefits a teacher for many years in a school teaching role.

See QTS but no PGCE qualification

UK PGCE equivalent award

What’s the difference between PGCE and QTS?

A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a vocational teaching qualification with academic study & teacher training where QTS assesses teacher skills against required teaching standards.

QTS means qualified teacher status, an assessment of a teacher’s classroom skills & knowledge for schools in Wales & England.

UK government states that:

“Qualified teacher status (QTS) is a legal requirement to teach in many English schools and is considered desirable for teachers in the majority of schools in England”.

UK Government

A PGCE is not the same as QTS as a PGCE is a teacher training qualification where QTS is the status of a qualified teacher by assessment of a school teacher’s skill. Further, being awarded QTS means you can teach 3-18 year old students in England schools, although PGCE alone doesn’t make you a qualified teacher.

What level is QTS qualification?

In England & Wales qualified (3-18 year old) school teacher is by gaining Qualified teacher status (QTS) is a status qualification with no level.

School teacher awarded QTS & PGCE qualification

With general teaching council (GTC) registration England school teachers are qualified holding PGCE & QTS, and can be more desirable by schools to teach secondary & primary students than just QTS holders.

UK school teachers require PGCE & QTS for work visa & school job requirements teaching abroad including State of Qatar, schools in Abu Dhabi or good Thailand international schools or top locations for Vietnam.

Looking to move overseas as a UK teacher to Canada or relocate long term to teach in Australia QTS only doesn’t qualify you to teach in these countries, requirements include PGCE + QTS + undergraduate degree.

Different PGCE age level qualifications

  • Early years PGCE age 3-7.

  • Primary PGCE age 5-11.

  • Secondary PGCE age 11-18.

  • Post compulsory PGCE age 14 to adults.
Different PGCE age level qualifications

All three of early years, primary and secondary PGCE’s can be used together with QTS to register as a qualified school teacher, secure a teaching job to teach as a classroom teacher in Wales & England.

PGCE post compulsory education qualifications are focused on students at college aged 14+ or delivering training in public or commercial organisations in England & Wales.

Further education post compulsory PGCE can be combined with Qualified Teacher Learning & skills (QTLS) to teach in England schools, deliver training or a lecturer at a tertiary college.

Education Tay
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