Teachers Defence Service

Teaching QTS Status and the TRA

Legal Representation in Teaching Regulation Authority Law

Legal Advice in TRA QTS Applications

About Us

Teachers Defence Service represents teachers in Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) and Quality Teacher Status (QTS) applications and regulatory proceedings. This artcle focusses on the QTS process. For guidance on regulatory conduct proceedings, see our article: TRA Misconduct Cases

For information on teaching registrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland see our page on UK Registrations.


All teachers must have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to take up a teaching post in England in a maintained primary school, maintained secondary school, maintained special school or non-maintained special school.

When a person has completed their training as a teacher, they must apply for Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) to The Teaching Regulation Agency if they trained in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland and if they want to teach in England. If they trained in Wales, they must apply to The Education Workforce Council.

Their teacher training course provider will advise the Teaching Regulation Agency (or Education Workforce Council for Wales) of the person’s results. Once the TRA has received these, a teacher will be granted QTS.

The award of qualified teacher status is granted under The Education (School Teachers’ Qualifications) (England) Regulations 2003 and the Education Act 2002 

Alternatively, a teacher can be granted QTS via the Assessment Only route. This way of achieving QTS is only available to unqualified teachers who have taught in at least two schools, early years and/or further education settings.

This route enables an experienced teacher with a degree, to achieve QTS without having to do any further training. Assessment Only allows a teacher to demonstrate that they already meet all of the standards for QTS.

To meet the criteria, a teacher will be required to apply to an Accredited Initial Teacher Training (ITT) provider.

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements are:

  1. All entrants have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 in GCSE English and mathematics
  2. All those who intend to teach pupils aged 3 to 11 additionally have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 in a GCSE science subject
  3. All candidates hold a first degree granted by a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification
  4. All candidates, as part of the provider’s selection procedures, have taken part in a rigorous selection process designed to assess their suitability to teach and ability to demonstrate meeting all of the Teachers’ Standards without the need for any further training
  5. All candidates have passed the professional skills tests for numeracy and literacy prior to entry. However, Candidates commencing the Assessment Only route on or after 1st April 2020 will not be required to pass the skills tests prior to acceptance.
  6. All candidates have taught in at least 2 schools.


  1. All candidates must be able to demonstrate meeting all of the Teachers’ Standards across the age range of assessment within the age ranges of ages 3 to 11 (primary), ages 7 to 14 (middle),ages 11 to 19 (secondary)
  2. The process of assessment includes the assessment of practical teaching in a school (or early years or further education setting) and typically does not last longer than 3 months.

Once assessment is successful by the Assessment Only route or completion of teacher training has been completed the TRA will award the QTS and update the record on the database of qualified teachers held by the TRA on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education.

Applications for QTS takes between 2 and 4 weeks to process.

Our Services

We can provide advice and guidance, or advocacy services (including representation at hearings), if instructed, to assist you in dealing with the TRA regulator. We can provide advice and assitance in QTS applications. Our fees are competitive. Give us a call on 020 3012 0402 without obligation and in strict confidence to see how we can assist you. Or, use our Contact Form.

Teachers Defence Service

Quick Links




Preparation for Regulatory Submissions and Hearings

Our Other Services

We also represent teachers in disciplinary hearings, criminal prosecutions, DBS matters, barring challenges, appeals, civil and employment law. Read More

Who can represent a teacher at the Teaching Regulatory Authority?

  • “5.21.  The teacher may be self-represented before the panel or be represented by any person of the teacher’s choice, including a legal representative.”

    TRA Guidance (2020)

External Links