It is time for British Independent and International teacher & school leader QTS ID cards.
Updated: Oct 27
While it is assumed that British Independent and International schools charging large school fees and promising the highest standards of education would have qualified teachers and school leaders, this is not always the case (Lynch, 2023). In British maintained schools in England QTS checks are carried out regularly on teachers and school leaders for safeguarding purposes, however this procedure is currently not a requirement in British Independent and International Schools. As the UK Independent Schools Council state; "Some independent schools will appoint teachers with no training or experience but plenty of potential". (How to get a teaching job in an independent school - ISC). Hence, inspection reports can be inaccurate when it comes to qualifications and QTS for staff. Many parents are prepared to spend large amounts of money with the intention of giving their child the best education possible... however, this could have the opposite effect on their child/ren and actually be damaging to their potential.
This limitation in the quality of education provided is exacerbated when schools have leaders who are not qualified teachers (QTS or internationally). In my experiences, non-qualified teachers who are in school leadership in British Independent and/or International Schools prefer to employ and promote non-qualified teachers within their school, so that they can avoid being challenged and/or to avoid feeling inadequate about their inability to evidence fundamental knowledge regarding quality teaching and pedagogy. This often occurs at the expense of employing highly experienced and qualified teacher professionals and is to the detriment of the school community.
This call for British Independent and International teacher & school leader QTS ID cards should be embraced by all parents, Board of Governors and all school leaders, enabling school improvement for many children. This id card would state the teachers UK Department for Education (DfE) recognised qualifications and QTS number, ensuring that all children have the best quality of education. This can be combined with DBS/ Police/ Working with Children Checks and the school's security/ safeguarding practices - it could be worn on a lanyard, for example. Any parent could request to see their child's teacher's ID card - evidencing their ability to meet the requirements expected.
Any teacher and/or school leader with an international qualification would be required to apply for recognition (if they haven't already done so) with the UK DfE and receive their Quality Teacher Status (QTS) equivalent. An excerpt from the DfE website is found below regarding this process (A fairer approach to awarding QTS to overseas teachers - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Qualifications and experience you’ll need for QTS ID cards
We will award overseas teachers QTS based on an assessment of each individual’s qualifications and experience against set requirements. You will be guided through the documents you need to submit as part of the application.
To be awarded QTS as a non-UK teacher, you must:
have an undergraduate degree of the same academic standard as a UK bachelor’s degree, as verified by UK ENIC, the UK national agency for international qualifications and skills
have completed teacher training that meets the standard of a level 6 qualification and is of at least the same length as an English initial teacher training course – for example, a Bachelor of Education or a Postgraduate Certificate in Education
have completed a course with content that is practically and pedagogically focused
be qualified to teach children aged between 5 and 16 years
have at least one school year (a minimum of 9 months including school holidays but excluding time out taken for any other reason) of professional experience working as a teacher after qualifying
have the professional status needed to be a teacher in the country where you qualified, and not be subject to any conditions or restrictions on your practice
A police officer, security guard or army officer will show identification to evidence authenticity. It is easy to appear as a teacher or school leader, just as it is as a police officer - an ID card is transparent and will enhance the quality of education provided in many British Independent and International Schools.