International• 3 Min read

17th August 2022

How do I get QTS with my PGCEi?

If you have a PGCEi, you are not automatically qualified to work as a teacher in the UK. In order to be a fully-qualified teacher in the UK you will need to complete a route to Qualified Teacher Status, or QTS. At Engage, we’ve helped thousands of teachers achieve their Qualified Teacher Status through the route that suits their circumstances best, and we’d like to help you, too.


What is a PGCEi? 

A PGCEi is an online teaching postgraduate qualification that is awarded by a UK university. A PGCE is a Postgraduate Certificate of Education and the ‘i’ means “International”. A PGCEi on its own gives you the ability to teach in some countries, but in the UK you will also need QTS.

What is a QTS?

Qualified teacher status (QTS) is a legal requirement to teach in most primary and secondary schools in England. It confirms that you have met the standards needed to become a teacher. The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) is responsible for awarding QTS. QTS is a teaching standard that is respected across the world. 

Is a PGCEi qualification better than a PGCE qualification?

A PGCEi qualification is not superior to a PGCE qualification, but it expands your teaching opportunities so that you can work in international schools, if you wish. It will give you a global approach to teaching, which is highly beneficial with the increasing numbers of international schools worldwide. International education is certainly becoming increasingly important.

I have a PGCEi, what do I need to do to gain QTS? 

If you are an experienced teacher with a degree, you can achieve QTS without having to do any further training. The assessment-only (AO) route allows you to demonstrate that you already meet all of the standards for QTS. You can do the AO route in the schools that we work with in the UK. 

How can I apply for the assessment only route?

Engage Education can secure you a teaching post in a school on the understanding that in the second or third term you will complete the AO route to QTS with an accredited provider. (The provider is dependent on where the school is located.) Teachers applying for the AO route will need to have taught in at least 2 schools, early years and/or further education settings. There are a number of Universities, colleges, schools and SCITTs around the country that offer the assessment-only route to QTS. 

What are the benefits of the assessment-only route?

The assessment-only route is for unqualified teachers who are already employed in a school. Those who take this route benefit from a potentially quicker way to achieve QTS. This route takes into account their work experience, hence why they are able to qualify in a much speedier time than if they were to do a PGCE.

They also benefit from remaining in paid employment throughout their assessment, so that they can avoid student debt. And they will have a better chance of promotion after they’ve fully qualified, with the increased salary that this will bring.

What is typically involved in the AO route? 

The assessment period for the assessment-only route to QTS is 12 weeks. During the 12 week assessment, you will:

  • Complete a portfolio with evidence that you are able to meet all the Teachers Standards
  • Have an initial assessment by an independent assessor to determine your competence against the Teaching Standards and consider your portfolio
  • Have an additional visit from the assessor within 3 months, undertaking a full evaluation of the evidence portfolio, moderating that against the evidence collected from two full lesson observations from two different key stages and formal interviews with you and relevant staff from your school
  • If deemed successful a formal recommendation will be made for the award of QTS 

 How much does the assessment-only route cost? 

The assessment-only route will cost around £2,500. There is no funding for this route, so the full costs must be paid by applicants or the school that is currently employing them. 

Am I eligible for the Assessment Only route?

  • To qualify for the assesment-only route to QTS you must hold a degree or equivalent qualification granted by a United Kingdom institution or an equivalent degree or other qualification granted by a foreign institution
  • You need to have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 in GCSE English and Mathematics
  • All those who intend to teach pupils aged 3 to 11 additionally need to have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 in a GCSE science subject
  • You should have taught for the equivalent of two years full time – all relevant teaching experience can be taken into account
  • Lastly, you also need to have taught across two age ranges or key stages

All the above information can be found at, please click here to see further information on the assessment-only route to QTS.

Why work with Engage Education? 

Finance support:

  • For our overseas teachers looking to relocate to the UK, we offer the extra cash injection you need to help you find your feet, with our £1,000 relocation bonus: £500 in term 1, £250 in term 2, and £250 in term 3.

Get set up:

  • We sort the airport pickup – No getting lost here.
  • Help you set up bank account – amazing how handy getting paid is.
  • Show you the bits and pieces of the Visa process (If a visa is required).
  • Sourcing your National Insurance number – You need one to be a legit UK resident.
  • Help finding accommodation and introductions before you even get here.
  • Internet! We give you the advice you need. Imagine a new home with no internet, no way.
  • A dedicated support number – not sure about something? Got a question? Give us a call: 0333 150 8010

Social perks:

  • Organised social events to help meet other teachers like you!
  • A private Facebook group for related insights.
  • Discounts and insights for shopping and entertainment.
  • Exclusive holiday offers and trips, see Europe or the rest of the UK, it’s your call.

Career Planning:

  • Personalized plan including CPD training, induction and continuous development.
  • Induction process – full day of essential insights, training and integration knowledge plus a smattering of fun.

Don’t be a stranger

When you subscribe for updates from The Reading Corner, you’ll never miss a thing. We will send you relevant industry news, free resources to help you in your role, competitions, prizes, and more! You can unsubscribe at any time (although we can’t imagine why you’d want to!)

Get QTS with Engage

Every day we help teachers attain QTS. Between our great partner schools and our comprehensive CPD programme, you’ll have everything you need to qualify as the fantastic teacher you are.

Book a time

Recommended for you