Which is higher QTS or QTLS?

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As an aspiring teacher, you may have come across the terms QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) and QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills). Both qualifications are highly regarded in the education sector, but what exactly do they entail? Let’s delve deeper into the world of teaching qualifications to understand the importance of QTLS and how it differs from QTS i.e QTLS vs QTS.

QTLS, or Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills, is a professional status awarded to individuals who demonstrate their expertise in teaching and learning within the Further Education (FE) and Skills sector. It is a recognition of their ability to deliver high-quality education and training to learners aged 14 and above, in a wide variety of settings such as colleges, adult education centers, and private training providers.

Why is it important?

Obtaining QTLS is crucial for those who aspire to teach within the FE and Skills sector. This qualification provides a formal recognition of a teacher’s competence, professionalism, and commitment to their profession. QTLS holders are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to create engaging and effective learning experiences for their students. It ensures that teachers are well-prepared to meet the diverse needs of learners in this specific sector and contribute to their personal and professional development.

What is QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills) and How Does it Differ from QTS?

While both QTLS and QTS are teaching qualifications, they are designed for different educational sectors. QTS, or Qualified Teacher Status, is the recognized qualification for individuals who wish to teach in maintained schools, academies, and free schools in England. It is primarily focused on teaching children and young people aged 5 to 19 years old.

On the other hand, QTLS is specifically tailored for those teaching in the Further Education and Skills sector. This sector encompasses a wide range of learners, including adults, young people, and individuals with diverse needs. QTLS recognizes the unique challenges and demands of teaching within this sector and equips teachers with the skills and knowledge required to excel in their role.

While both qualifications share the goal of ensuring high-quality teaching, they have different entry requirements and assessment criteria. QTS requires completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Education or a relevant subject, followed by a period of training and assessment. QTLS, on the other hand, allows individuals to achieve the qualification through a variety of pathways, including a combination of academic study, practical teaching experience, and professional development.

Evaluating the Requirements for Achieving QTS and QTLS

To achieve QTS, aspiring teachers in England must meet certain requirements set by the Department for Education. These requirements include obtaining a relevant degree, completing a period of Initial Teacher Training (ITT), and passing the appropriate skills tests. The ITT may be completed through a university-based program or a school-based route, such as School Direct or Teach First.

For QTLS, the requirements are slightly different. Individuals can achieve QTLS through various pathways, including a Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training or a Level 7 Postgraduate Certificate in Education and Training. These qualifications focus on developing the necessary skills and knowledge for teaching within the FE and Skills sector. Additionally, candidates for QTLS must demonstrate their teaching competence through a process of professional formation, which involves submitting a portfolio of evidence and undergoing an assessment of their teaching practice.

Career Progression: Opportunities Available with QTS and QTLS Qualifications

Both QTS and QTLS qualifications open doors to exciting career opportunities in the education sector. With QTS, individuals can pursue a career as a teacher in maintained schools, academies, and free schools in England. This qualification is widely recognized and valued by employers in the education sector, providing teachers with a solid foundation to build their careers upon.

QTLS, on the other hand, offers a range of career options within the Further Education and Skills sector. Qualified teachers with QTLS can teach in colleges, adult education centers, private training providers, and other settings catering to learners aged 14 and above. Moreover, QTLS can enhance career progression opportunities, allowing teachers to take on leadership and management roles, curriculum development positions, and even progress into further academic study at the postgraduate level.

Determining Which Qualification is Higher: Considering Factors like Recognition & Scope of Practice

When determining which qualification is higher, it is important to consider factors such as recognition and scope of practice. QTS is the recognized qualification for teaching in maintained schools, which are regulated by the government and cater to children and young people aged 5 to 19. This qualification carries a high level of recognition within the education sector and provides a solid foundation for a teaching career in these settings.

QTLS, on the other hand, is specifically designed for teaching within the Further Education and Skills sector, which encompasses a broader age range and a variety of learning environments. While QTLS may not have the same level of recognition as QTS in maintained schools, it is highly regarded within the FE and Skills sector. QTLS provides teachers with the expertise to meet the diverse needs of adult learners and contribute to their personal and professional development.

Ultimately, the question of which qualification is higher depends on the context in which it is being considered. Both QTS and QTLS are valuable qualifications that provide teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their specific sectors.

Making an Informed Choice

When deciding between QTS and QTLS, it is important to consider your career aspirations, the age group you wish to teach, and the sector in which you want to work. If you aspire to teach in maintained schools and work with children and young people aged 5 to 19, QTS is the appropriate qualification for you. On the other hand, if you are passionate about teaching within the Further Education and Skills sector and working with adult learners, QTLS is the qualification that will equip you with the necessary expertise.

It is also worth considering the specific entry requirements and assessment criteria for each qualification. Take the time to research and understand the pathways available to achieve QTS and QTLS, as well as the support and resources offered by training providers. This will ensure that you make an informed choice that aligns with your career goals and aspirations.


In conclusion, QTS and QTLS are both valuable teaching qualifications that hold significance within their respective sectors. While QTS is recognized as the qualification for teaching in maintained schools, QTLS is tailored for teaching within the Further Education and Skills sector. Both qualifications provide teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles and contribute to the development of learners.

When choosing between QTS and QTLS, it is important to consider your career aspirations, the age group you wish to teach, and the sector in which you want to work. By understanding the requirements and scope of each qualification, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your goals and sets you on a path to a successful teaching career.

So, whether you aspire to teach in maintained schools or within the Further Education and Skills sector, the choice between QTS and QTLS ultimately depends on your personal goals and the learners you wish to inspire.

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