Promoting Quality in Teacher Education

iQTS Consultation Response


UCET's response to the International Qualified Teacher Status.

Please see the attachment for the full response.

Background and Context

How should we balance English and international teaching standards? Please select your preferred option below:
a) The iQTS standards should remain as close as possible to the English Teachers’ Standards, with the option to add local or international school-based standards
b) The iQTS standards should remain as close as possible to the English Teachers’ Standards, with caveats only allowed where local law takes precedence
c) The iQTS standards should be adapted to be broader and more reflective of the range of international settings

We believe that Option C is the most appropriate. There are two categories of needs in respect of the initial education and training of teachers in international settings, these being International Schools and Local Schools. Within International Schools, there is a further sub-division between those that are aligned to and reflective of the English/British Education System and those that are informed by curricula, policies and practices that are American and/or global.

The competences/standards that are used to underpin teacher development and arrive at judgements about ‘capability’ should, therefore, be sufficiently wide to address these different market and professional needs, whilst having a clear framework/spine that – as Teacher Educators – we all recognise.

The important of context must be something that is recogised and embedded in what is used. This is already a feature of many of the programmes that are delivered/validated by Universities from across the United Kingdom in their Initial Teacher Education provision (PGCEi/iPGCE, for example) with overseas partnerships. Programmes are carefully constructed and informed by the best principles of the courses delivered within the UK. This does not weaken or dilute the frameworks that are drawn on by the Universities but add a richness and relevance for those being trained in the local context.

The Standards also need to be sufficiently broad to recognise the realities of the status of teaching in different countries. In a number of cases, teaching is not a graduate profession. In other situations, a Master’s level is a minimum requirement for someone to be a teacher.

The purpose of this proposed qualification also needs to be taken in to account. There is not, we believe, a significant demand for individuals training in international settings to achieve QTS; rather, the driver is about a qualification that has credibility and – from the employers – the requirement to have a highly effective and well-trained work force.