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DfE appoints University of Derby as one of six providers for a new International Qualified Teacher (iQTS) pilot

The Department for Education (DfE) has appointed the University of Derby as one of only six providers for a new International Qualified Teacher (iQTS) pilot, commencing in September 2022.

iQTS is a new, UK government-backed international teaching qualification, recognised by the DfE, as equivalent to English Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).  

The government launched a public consultation which introduced proposals for a new international teaching qualification back in February 2021. This led to the announcement of the iQTS as part of the International Education Strategy 2021 Update to help export excellence in teacher training.

At the end of last year, the DfE invited a small cohort of accredited English initial teacher training (ITT) providers to join a pilot of the iQTS training programme. Only existing providers who are accredited by the DfE to deliver ITT leading to QTS in England, and who have an OFSTED inspection rating of 1 (outstanding) or 2 (good) for their primary and/or secondary QTS provision, were asked to apply to be part of the pilot.

As a pilot provider, the University of Derby will now offer the course for intake from September. As iQTS is recognised as equivalent to QTS by the DfE, anyone who is awarded the iQTS qualification by the University will be eligible to apply for professional QTS status.

Speaking about the appointment, Head of the Institute of Education at the University of Derby, Dr Sarah Charles, said: “We are delighted that the University has been selected to be an iQTS provider. This pilot will provide an opportunity to deliver high quality teacher training in multiple global regions which will serve to increase the quality, supply and mobility of the international teaching workforce.

“As a long-standing provider of Initial Teacher Training and Education (ITT/E), being granted this opportunity affirms our place as both a national, and now international, provider of Outstanding Teacher Training and Education.”

Professor Keith McLay, Provost – Learning and Teaching at the University, added: “I am thrilled that the University of Derby has been selected by the DfE to deliver the iQTS pilot, a reflection of the hard work and innovative approach taken by our Teacher Training and Education team.

“We have a strong reputation for nurturing successful, confident and forward-thinking teachers at Derby, and in our most recent Ofsted inspection, our primary leadership team were praised for putting students at the heart of all they do and for ensuring they have excellent career outcomes. We look forward to welcoming students onto the course in the new academic year.”

In line with the iQTS Teachers’ Standards and Core Content Framework, the QTS element will focus on the fundamental skills needed to be an effective teacher in any international setting, regardless of subject or age specialism. As with the UK PGCE programme, the course will provide a mixture of assessed practical input and experience, and Masters level academic input and assessment.

The course will be delivered through online learning, combined with academic support. Students will undertake assessed placements in local schools and will be provided with a trained mentor from a school setting for the duration of the course.  

The iQTS is suited to those living outside of 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, and 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.

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