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Your Questions

What is QTS ?

1. What is QTS?

QTS is a status, granted to teachers who have demonstrated that they have met the required professional standards to be able to teach in maintained schools, non-maintained special schools or pupil referral units in England. Without QTS a teacher cannot register with the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) and, therefore, cannot be employed as a qualified teacher in state schools. The TRA is the awarding body for QTS.

2. How is QTS awarded?

Trainee teachers undertake a training course that has been accredited by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA). The TRA awards QTS when it is informed by an accredited teacher training provider that a trainee has met all the standards for QTS. The TRA will then process the result and issue the teacher with a QTS certificate or, in some cases, a letter confirming that the teacher holds QTS.

Note: Teacher Reference Numbers (TRNs) are issued to trainee teachers during their training. A TRN is not proof that a person holds QTS.

Teachers who qualified in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are entitled to request that the GTCE recognises their qualifications and awards them QTS in England without further training.

3. Is a PGCE or BEd qualification the same as QTS?

No. The academic award, such as a PGCE or teaching degree, is separate and a trainee may meet the academic requirements but still fail to meet the standards laid down for QTS. The skills tests are one of these standards and trainees will not be awarded QTS until they have passed them. Also the academic award may be aimed at the post-16 sector. Qualifications for the post-16 sector do not lead to the award of QTS.

4. QTS and the skills tests

The standards for QTS require that a trainee teacher passes the relevant skills tests before QTS can be awarded. Those who were awarded QTS between 1 May 2001 and 20 April 2002 were required to pass the numeracy and literacy skills tests. Those who completed initial teacher training on 1 May 2002 and later are required to have passed the numeracy, literacy and ICT skills tests.

*Different arrangements apply for trainees who completed their training prior to May 2002 and these are outlined below:

  • those awarded QTS in England before 1 May 2000 do not need to take any of the skills tests
  • those awarded QTS in England between 1 May 2000 and 30 April 2001 need to pass the numeracy test as part of the induction standards.
  • Those who have not yet passed all of the skills tests and wish to teach in a maintained school or non-maintained special school, need to contact the General Teaching Council for England on 0870 001 0308 or the QTS Skills Tests Team at the TDA on 020 7023 8146 for further information.

A teacher cannot begin induction until they have been awarded QTS. Any period of induction undertaken before QTS is awarded is invalid.

From 1 September 2008, those who have completed initial teacher training but have not been awarded QTS because they have not passed all of the skills tests cannot be lawfully employed as teachers. They could teach as an instructor providing the instructor requirements set out in paragraph 7 are satisfied. If they pass the skills tests at a later date and are awarded QTS, they can teach lawfully as qualified teachers.

5. Induction

Once QTS has been awarded, the teacher becomes an NQT and is required to begin the induction period. Until they have successfully completed this they remain an NQT. If they fail their induction, they are barred from working as a qualified teacher, although their QTS award is not removed. Appropriate bodies (LAs and the ISC) inform the GTCE of induction results and the GTCE issues induction certificates to successful teachers.

6. Who does the law allow to teach?

From 1 September 2008 the following people can do 'specified work' (the way that the law describes usual teaching activity) in maintained schools or non-maintained special schools in England:

  • teachers with QTS
  • trainee teachers on mainstream or employment based routes to QTS
  • OTTs who have worked here for less than 4 years since the first date they did so
  • instructors (as defined in section 7 below)
  • staff employed to assist or support the work of anyone falling within one of the categories above (subject to their having the necessary skills and being supervised and directed by a qualified teacher).

All new FE teachers appointed after1 September 2007 (and many existing FE teachers) will now be following the new FE QTLS (Qualified Teacher: Learning and Skills) qualifications pathway. Lifelong Learning UK is currently working with TDA to assess and develop appropriate development modules to enable teachers holding QTLS status to teach in schools. Teachers in schools who hold QTS will similarly be required to undertake appropriate CPD to teach in FE. This will enable them to achieve the FE QTLS award. The FE sector is introducing a requirement that FE teachers must evidence their core skills. Further information is available on the following websites:

7. Instructors

Instructors are 'unqualified teachers' who the law allows to carry out the same duties as qualified teachers. Instructors can be employed:

  • to give instruction in any art or skill or in any subject or group of subjects (including any form of vocational training), where special qualifications or experience or both are required, in order to give such instruction
  • if the school or local authority is satisfied that he/she has the necessary special qualifications or experience or both to do the job
  • if there is no suitable qualified teacher, graduate teacher, registered teacher or teacher on the employment-based teacher training scheme available for such appointment or to give such instruction
  • only for such period that no suitable qualified teacher, graduate teacher, registered or teacher on an employment based teacher training scheme is available. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list but examples of instructors might include:

  • a linguist or an interpreter as an instructor to teach one or more foreign languages
  • an artist to teach art
  • a musician to teach music
  • a carpenter to teach woodwork
  • an actor to teach drama.
  • Instructor posts should only be offered for as long as there is no qualified teacher or person on an employment based route to QTS available to supply those skills or qualifications.

8. Overseas Trained Teachers (OTTs)

Overseas trained teachers (i.e. those who qualified as teachers in countries outside of the EEA and Switzerland) are allowed to work as unqualified teachers for a maximum of four years without the need to gain QTS. This four-year period begins on the first day that a teacher takes up their post in a maintained school or non-maintained special school and expires four calendar years later.

If an overseas trained teacher (OTT) wishes to be awarded QTS, they will need to have had the award made before their four year exemption period ends. Any enquiry that they have concerning QTS should be directed to the TDA on 0845 6000 991. 

Note: Although OTTs are qualified in their own countries you will need to satisfy yourself that their competence and experience satisfies the needs of your school.

Full guidance on employing OTTs, including details of new Home Office arrangements which replace the work permit system November 2008, is available here.

9. Other teachers without QTS

Headteachers also can appoint other teachers without QTS to carry out specified work but only under the direction and supervision of a nominated qualified teacher. These are usually but not exclusively Teaching Assistants and Higher Level Teaching Assistants They must have skills, qualifications and experience relevant to the subject they teach. There is no limit to the length of time they can teach. However, overseas trained teachers without QTS after four years and people who completed initial teacher training but were not awarded QTS because they have not passed all of the skills tests are not allowed to teach under this category.

10. Safeguarding pupils and students

Finally, remember that all new staff must have suitable DBS checks.  Details of what is required are given in guidance we issued in November 2006: Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education, and you can find it here. If you have enquires about these matters call the DfE on 0870 000 2288.

Beyond the exceptions given above, you should expect that anyone you plan to appoint does have QTS and the only way to be certain, regardless of any other qualifications they may offer you, is to check with the TRA.

Health And Safety Certificate

If you require a Health & Safety Certificate for Design Technology, please contact the person below

Neville Crouch
Summer Farm
Biddenden Road
St Michaels, Tenterden
Kent TN30 6TD

Tel: 01580 292806 or 01634 844008 or
07899 988658

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Areas of accreditation:

  • Core level (SCHS)
  • Resistant Materials (SMHS)
  • Wood sawing machines (S1HS)
  • Centre lathe for metal cutting (S2HS)
  • Metal arc welding (S4HS)
  • Oxy-acetylene welding and cutting (S5HS)
  • Milling machines and machining centre (S6HS)
  • Wood turning lathe (S7HS)
  • Planer/thicknesser machine (S8HS)
Tax relief for travel expenses

Term Time Teachers Ltd do not work with Umbrella Companies. We have spoken with our Tax Advisors who clearly inform us that we are to continue to refuse to pay via this method.  We are aware that some supply teachers who work for a teacher supply agency are employed via an Umbrella Company.  If you are on supply and are currently working for an Umbrella Company please note that Term Time Teachers Ltd with only provide standard PAYE.  Please also note the following information provided by Inland Revenue;

Tax relief for travel expenses: temporary workers and overarching contracts

This consultation document seeks to expand and test the Government's analysis of those structures using overarching employment contracts -umbrella companies and employment agencies in terms of the size of the sector, their role within the wider labour market and the extent of the problems arising from the use of these structures.

Umbrella companies and some employment agencies make use of overarching employment contracts which enable some temporary workers to gain tax relief for travel expenses not available to others working in similar circumstances. There is also evidence of widespread abuse of the travel expenses rules by these structures. Non-compliance and the use of these structures to pay less income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) lead to a loss to the Exchequer, as well as further problems.

(Details on the full consultation document )

What is GTP ?

GTP Information

Please go to the East Sussex County Council link regarding GTP

What is the GTC ? Do I have to Register ?

The TRA is the Teaching Regulation Agency.  It is the registration body for all teachers who hold QTS in England.  Wales and Scotland have their own GTC. 

The TRA was set up in the late 90's by the government .  It is similar to the doctors registration list.

Teachers holding QTS receive a registration card for the academic year and magazines about teaching throughout the year.

The cost per year is £33.00

All teachers who work on supply and teach in mainstream or SEN state schools or schools that hold DFE creditation, are required by LAW to join. 

For further information please call 0870 0010308 or email or check their website

How long do I have to complete my Induction ?

On 16/11/06, I contacted The Induction Team at The TDA.

 This is what they told me.

*NQTs who work on supply have only 4 terms to start their INDUCTION*

  • Once qualifield you have an unlimited time scale to start your induction. You can work at a school without starting your Induction as long as you are employed via LEA.
  • Once you start your Induction, you have five years to complete.
  • The least you can do is 1 day a week (this will take you 5 years to complete Induction)
  • As the example above shows, Induction is on a pro rata basis.
  • You can work in more than one school at the same time.
  • You can complete your induction as a supply teacher.  You must be in 1 school for at least 2 terms for your work to count.

When working on supply, if you complete your induction at one school you have the standard 6 terms (1 academic year) in which to do this.

If you work in more than one school per two terms, you will have 8 terms to complete.

  • Please also check teachernet by clicking onto the link at the top of the page

links removed from this article as they no longer exist

Changes relating to Skills Tests and Overseas Trained Teachers

The Department consulted recently about trainee teachers who fail skills tests and Overseas Trained Teachers (OTTs). Subject to Parliamentary approval, the DCSF have decided on the following changes: existing teachers who have not passed the skills tests will have to do so before 31 August 2008 to remain in teaching; OTTs without QTS cannot teach beyond the four year limit even if they are on an employment-based route into teaching at the time, effective from 1 September 2008; any deadline on unqualified teachers can be extended to take account of absence from work on statutory maternity, adoption, paternity or parental leave, or because of pregnancy, effective from 1 September 2007.

The updated guidance is subject to Parliamentary approval of amending regulations.

What are the different Terms in SEN/AEN

Kent's NGfL AEN Website

  • SLD Speech and Language Disorder
  • SLD Severe Learning Difficulty
  • S.L.D Specific Learning Difficulty
  • MLD Moderate Learning Difficulty
  • M.L.D Multi Learning Difficulty;- this often applies to a school that caters for a range of difficulties
  • PMLD Profound & Multiple Learning Difficulties
  • ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
  • BESD Behavioural, Emotional & Social Development
  • EBD Emotional, Behavioural Disorder
  • SLT Speech Language Therapist
  • Ed Psych Educational Psychologist

You can find out more information from the following website

What does the High/Scope Approach look like?

The diagram below illustrates the curriculum principles that guide High/Scope practitioners in their daily work with children

The High/Scope Wheel

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Does the High/Scope Approach really work?

High/Scope is unique in having a 40 year longitudinal study in validation of its work with children. The results of these research studies show how the High/Scope Approach to early years education produces lasting benefits for children, families and society. The following examples are specific findings from the research studies.

Children who had experienced the High/Scope Approach as adolescents and adults showed:

  • Increased social responsibility
  • Increased chance of higher economic status
  • Improved educational performance
  • Increased commitment to long term relationships
  • The overall conclusion from research is that children across cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and of varying abilities benefit from the High/Scope Approach. Using the High/Scope Approach should be seen as an investment in a child's future life chances and as an investment in the future well-being of society.

High/Scope is a quality approach to children's learning that is widely used in the UK. High/Scope recognises the uniqueness of each child and develops their self-confidence by building on what they can do. This Approach is based on sound educational principles, as detailed below.

Children learn best by being active - by engaging with people, materials, events and ideas in ways that are direct, immediate and meaningful to them. Every aspect of the High/Scope Approach supports active learning.

Children have a natural desire to learn. High/Scope recognises and supports this. It encourages children to use their initiative, to plan and to develop their own strengths and interests. The Plan-Do-Review process gives children the opportunity to create and express their intentions, to generate their own learning experiences and to reflect on those experiences

To become confident, independent learners, children need consistency. The High/Scope Approach provides this through the daily routine, the organisation of the learning environment and in the ways that adults interact with children.

Children achieve more when they feel happy and secure. High/Scope practitioners bring genuine warmth and trust to their relationships with children. They also respect and value each child's personal and cultural identity.

Building a Strong Partnership with Parents High/Scope practitioners recognise that parents and practitioners need to form authentic relationships and share their unique knowledge and experience with one another to support children's learning and well being.

Appropriate Curriculum

Children need a curriculum that is appropriate to their intellectual, emotional and physical development. The High/Scope Curriculum has been developed through extensive observations of young children learning. It is based on key development indicators (formerly Key Experiences) and offers children the foundation of knowledge, skills and ideas that supports the Early Years Foundation Stage while creating confident learners.

Interested in knowing more or wish to find out how to become a High/Scope Practitioner?

Our Publications section details a wealth of resource material to purchase. Also, see what Training Courses we have to offer, to help you gain valuable skills in practising the High/Scope Approach.

  • Active Learning
  • Personal Initiative
  • Consistency
  • Genuine Relationships

Our How Can We Help? section also details what we offer to individuals, organisations and partnerships seeking to implement the High/Scope Approach.

What are my responsibilities for child protection?

What are my responsibilities for child protection?

Circular 10/95 sets out the responsibilities of LEAs, schools and teachers in protecting children from abuse and neglect.

The key points for the individual teacher are that:

  • the school must have a child protection policy and a designated person to liaise with statutory agencies;
  • the policy must include procedures for handling suspected cases of abuse of pupils, including procedures to be followed should a member of staff be accused of abuse;
  • you should know the designated person, be familiar with the procedures and be alert to any signs of potential abuse;
  • you must not investigate cases of alleged or suspected abuse but are bound to pass the concerns on to the designated person;
  • you must never guarantee confidentiality to a pupil - if a pupil seeks to confide in you, then you must tell them sensitively that you cannot promise secrecy, but that only those who need to know will be told, and that everything will be done to help them.

Is physical contact with pupils illegal?
The legislation on discipline and child protection does not make it illegal for you simply to touch a pupil. As Circular 10/95 makes clear: 'It is unnecessary and unrealistic to suggest that teachers should touch pupils only in emergencies.' Touching younger pupils 'is inevitable' as teachers reassure them and support them. Nevertheless, as a teacher, you 'must bear in mind that even perfectly innocent actions can sometimes be misconstrued'. Some pupils may find any physical contact distressing. It should be stating the obvious, but the Circular emphasises the point: 'It is also important not to touch pupils, however casually, in ways or on parts of the body that might be considered indecent.' (para. 49).

It is widely recognised as good practice that a teacher should avoid being alone with a pupil in confined and secluded areas.

I am an Overseas teacher, Do I have to go to NARIC?

The UK NARIC is the National Agency for the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). They are the only official information provider on the comparability of international qualifications from over 180 countries worldwide. 

If you qualified overseas, you must produce your qualifications to NARIC who will assess your qualifications and record what they are as an equivalent to UK qualifications.

Most EU countries recognise the qualifications of other EU states.

For more information go to the NARIC website.

CRB: What is this ? Do I need one?

Disclosure and Barring Service commonly known as DBS.  The document that is provided by DBS is also commonly known as a DBS.

What is a DBS?

  •  DBS is simply a police check.

What does a DBS tell an employer?

  •  The DBS will inform the employer of your eligibility to work with children and if applicable vulnerable adults
  •  The DBS will also have a Disclosure No and date. It will also contain your personal details (age, full name, address...) and      the name and company address of the Countersignatory (the person who requested your DBS)

How long does a DBS last for?

(a) do not have a break of service that is longer than 3 months
(b) stay working with the same school / agency
(c) have the same details and circumstances

Do I need a DBS?  

  • Yes it must be a current Enhanced Disclosure

How can I get more information ?

New Professional Standards: What are they? How can I get information?

Ways of working with the new professional standards

Access resources developed by CPD leaders who are working to exemplify the new standards.


The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) has just published a revised set of professional standards for teachers. These will replace existing classroom teacher standards from September 2007.

Many CPD leaders have already begun to explore the new standards to see how they can be used in schools. In May 2007 Connect brought together a group of these teachers, launching  a small scale project that the TRA aim to continue next year as part of their ‘Personalising CPD' work.

The TRA would like to hear from any Connect member who is either developing strategies for using the new professional standards, or would like to be involved in future work with them. Email your interest to

Read more about the standards

What we can learn from the standards

  • It is important to engender an ethos and culture within a school that enables all staff to think about the standards they are working to, and about the development of their career.
  • The standards serve as a useful tool for identifying development priorities for teachers and are linked to performance management.  This dimension - the link between professional standards and performance management - was the aspect the Connect members at the TRA looked at. 

The resources

Consider the resources developed below. Much of it is still work-in-progress, but the TRA hope it will stimulate new ideas and approaches for your own work

Toolkit for Standards (PDF,  81kb): in order to avoid duplicating the language of the standards or creating an unwieldy document, a group of Suffolk headteachers (primary, secondary and special), compiled a list of evidence and some FAQs.

Self Evaluation Matrix (Word,  57kb): a tool, based on the standards, to help teachers to assess their own progress and identify gaps in knowledge, skills and experience that require more professional development.

Professional Development Portfolios: a framework (PDF,  23kb): a rationale for the use of development portfolios.

The TRA have left teachers with two questions

  • Standards are the quality assurance and performance management is quality control - is this a helpful way to view the process and tools?
  • How can schools be sure that there is parity and coherence across the school in what is regarded as ‘evidence'? There are issues here regarding reviewer training and transparency of the process for all staff.

Your thoughts on these questions, and any of the above resources, are welcomed by TRA. Email

Relevant research

You may find the overview of the TRA's latest Research of the Month - ‘Reflection in action and reflection on action' - helpful in supporting your performance management reviews. 

Synthetic Phonics

The name 'Synthetic Phonics' comes from the concept of 'synthesising', which means 'putting together' or 'blending'. What is synthesised/put together/blended in reading are the sounds prompted by the letters on the page.

According to the Clackmannanshire 7 year longitudinal study, '[Synthetic phonics] is a very accelerated form of phonics that does not begin by establishing an initial sight vocabulary. With this approach, before children are introduced to books, they are taught letter sounds. After the first few of these have been taught they are shown how these sounds can be blended together to build up words (Feitelson, 1988). For example, when taught the letter sounds /t/ /p/ /a/ and /s/, the children can build up the words 'tap,' 'pat, 'pats', 'taps', 'sat', etc. The children are not told the pronunciation of the new word either before it is constructed with magnetic letters or indeed afterwards; the children sound each letter in turn and synthesise the sounds together in order to generate the pronunciation of the word. Thus the children construct the pronunciation for themselves. Most of the letter sound correspondences, including the consonant and vowel digraphs, can be taught in the space of a few months at the start of their first year at school. This means that children can read many of the unfamiliar words they meet in text for themselves, without the assistance of the teacher'.

Common Terminology

Common terminology used within the Synthetic Phonics method includes :

  • blend (vb.): to draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap
  • phoneme: the smallest single identifiable sound, e.g. the letters ‘sh' represent just one sound, but ‘sp' represents two (/s/ and /p/)
  • grapheme: a letter or a group of letters representing one sound, e.g. sh, ch, igh, ough (as in ‘though')
  • (vowel) digraph: two letters making one sound, e.g. sh, ch, th, ph. Vowel digraphs comprise two vowels which, together, make one sound, e.g. ai, oo, ow

What it is

  • Synthetic phonics involves the teaching of letter/s-sound correspondences to automaticity, rapidly and systematically (approx 6 sounds per week) and models how the alphabetic code works by sounding out and blending all-through-the-word for reading and segmenting the individual sounds all-through-the-word for spelling. Sounds and letters are taught in all positions of the words, but the emphasis is on all-through-the-word blending and segmenting from week one.
  • Synthetic phonics develops phonemic awareness along with the corresponding letter shapes.
  • Synthetic phonics teaches phonics at the level of the individual phoneme from the outset; NOT syllables and NOT onset and rime.
  • Synthetic phonics involves the children rehearsing the writing of letter shapes alongside learning the letter/s-sound correspondences preferably with the tripod pencil grip. Dictation is a frequent teaching technique from letter level to word spelling, including nonsense words and eventually extending to text level.
  • Synthetic phonics teachers put accuracy before fluency. Fluency will come with time, but the emphasis on thorough letter/s-sound correspondence knowledge and synthesising enables the reader to become more accurate, fluent and to access the meaning of the text at the level of the reader's oral comprehension more readily.
  • Synthetic phonics involves the teaching of the transparent alphabet before progressing onto the opaque alphabet. In other words, children are taught steps which are straightforward and 'work' before being taught the complications and variations of pronunciation and spelling of the full alphabetic code.
  • Synthetic phonics introduces irregular words and more tricky words slowly and systematically after a thorough introduction of the transparent alphabet code (learning the 42 letter/s-sound correspondences to automaticity and how to blend for reading and segment for spelling). Phonics application still works at least in part in such words.
  • Synthetic phonics involves a heavy emphasis on hearing the sounds all-through-the-word for spelling and not an emphasis on 'look, cover, write, check'. This latter, visual form of spelling plays a larger part with unusual spellings and spelling variations although a phonemic procedure is always emphasised in spelling generally.
  • Synthetic phonics teachers read a full range of literature with the children and ensure that all children have a full range of experience of activities associated with literacy such as role play, drama, poetry, but the children are not expected to 'read' text which is beyond them.

What it is NOT

  • Synthetic phonics does not teach whole words as shapes (initial sight vocabulary) prior to learning the alphabetic code.
  • Synthetic phonics does not teach letter names until the children know their letter/s-sound correspondences thoroughly and how to blend for reading and segment for spelling. Often when letter names are introduced it is through singing an alphabet song.
  • Synthetic phonics DOES NOT involve guessing at words from context, picture and initial letter clues. Children read print (at letter level, word level, digraphs, word level, text level) which corresponds with the level of knowledge and skills taught to date. This means they rehearse what they have been specifically taught and do not need to guess (which can cause damaging habits to the extent of dyslexic symptoms and behavioural problems. )This text level print is often referred to as phonically decodable text. Repetitive books are not necessary and children can rapidly access books described as 'real' because of the effectiveness of the synthetic phonics teaching approach.

What a typical Synthetic Phonics programme consists of

  • learning letter sounds (as distinct from the letter names);

For example, /mm/ not muh, /ss/ not suh, /ff/ not fuh. The letter names can be taught later but should not be taught in the early stages.

  • learning the 44 sounds and their corresponding letters/letter groups;

The English Alphabet Code 'Key' : 44 phonemes with their common 'sound pattern' representations:

Vowels (19):

  • /a/ mat
  • /ae/ ape, baby, rain, tray, they, eight
  • /air/ square, bear
  • /ar/ jar, fast
  • /e/ peg, bread
  • /ee/ sweet, me, beach, key, pony
  • /i/ pig, wanted
  • /ie/ kite, wild, light, fly
  • /o/ log, want
  • /oe/ bone, cold, boat, snow
  • /oi/ coin, boy,
  • /oo/ book, would, put
  • /ow/ down, house
  • /or/ fork, ball, sauce, law,
  • /u/ plug, glove
  • /ur/ burn, teacher, work, first
  • /ue/ blue, moon, screw, tune
  • /uh/ (schwa) button, computer, hidden, doctor
  • /w/ wet, wheel,

Consonants (25):

  • /ks/gz/ box exist
  • /c/k/ cat /key, duck, school
  • /ch/ chip, watch
  • /d/ dog, ladder
  • /f/ fish, coffee, photo, tough
  • /g/ gate, egg, ghost
  • /h/ hat, whole
  • /j/ jet, giant, cage, bridge
  • /l/ lip, bell, sample
  • /m/ man, hammer, comb
  • /n/ nut, dinner, knee, gnat
  • /ng/ ring, sink
  • /p/ pan, happy
  • /kw/ queen
  • /r/ rat, cherry, write
  • /s/ sun, dress, house, city, mice
  • /sh/ ship, mission, station, chef
  • /t/ tap, letter, debt
  • /th/ thrush
  • /th/ that
  • /v/ vet, sleeve
  • /y/ yes
  • /z/ zip, fizz, sneeze, is, cheese
  • /zh/ treasure
  • learning to read words using sound blending;
  • reading stories featuring the words the students have learned to sound out;
  • demonstration exercises to show they comprehend the stories;
Can I be self employed whilst working as a teacher ?

In a Bulletin from Inland Revenue in December 2004, they state clearly that teachers are deemed to be employees.  Teachers are therefore not allowed to invoice for their teaching or work through a Composite Company (especially if the NIC contributions are not being paid).

For further information please contact Inland Revenue on 08459000404 (between 8:00am and 10:00pm 7 days a week)

IR have the following booklets available free of charge

  • IR56 Employed/Self Employed
  • CA01(NP28) National Insurance for employees
  • CA25(NI192) Agencies/Agency supplied workers
  • FB30 Self employed
Is there a TV channel for teachers ?

Watch on Sky 880, Virgin TV 240 Tiscali TV 845, and Freeview 88

Please click on the link and find out more

Information for Overseas Teachers

1.  An overseas trained teacher (OTT) is a person who qualified as a teacher in a country outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.  They must have successfully completed a course of initial teacher training which is recognised by the relevant authorities in their home countries.  The Education (Specified Work and Registration) (England) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/1663) and the Education (Specified Work and Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/2117) set out the conditions under which overseas trained teachers are allowed to carry out specified work (i.e. teach) in state maintained and non-maintained special schools in England.

The four year rule

2.  OTTs are allowed to teach in state maintained schools and non-maintained special schools in England as unqualified teachers for four calendar years.  They are not permitted to teach in Pupil Referral Units unless they have been awarded qualified teacher status (QTS).  The four year period an OTT is allowed to work as an unqualified teacher begins on the first day the OTT taught in a state maintained school or a non-maintained special school in England and expires exactly four years later regardless of whether the OTT has taught throughout the four year period.

For example, if a teacher first teaches on 10 September 2005, they are allowed to teach without QTS until 9 September 2009.  The expiry date will remain 9 September 2009 even if the teacher did not teach for the whole period between 10 September 2005 and 9 September 2009.

Teachers who qualified in countries outside of the EEA and Switzerland are still subject to the four year rule even if they do not require Home Office permission to work or remain in the UK.

Advice for OTTs

3.  It is essential that schools, local authorities and employment agencies make OTTs aware on their appointment that there is a legal limit on the length of time they are allowed to teach without QTS.   It is strongly recommended that the following action is undertaken by OTTs either before or shortly after arrival in the UK:

(a)  they arrange a check with UK NARIC (0870 330 7033) to establish whether their home qualifications are equivalent to a UK first degree and also to a GCSE grade 'C' in maths and English (and science if the person is a primary teacher).  It is important these checks are carried out at an early stage as some teachers may need to top up their qualifications before they can undertake QTS training and extra time is not available for this purpose.

(b) arrange to undertake an employment based training course leading to QTS by contacting the Training and Development Agency for Schools' Overseas Trained Teacher helpline on 0845 6000 998.

4.  The Department has produced a publication 'Overseas Trained Teachers - what you need to know' which can be obtained from DCSF publications on 0845 6022260 (please quote the reference 00898-2007LEF-EN) or Download it.  It would be helpful if the leaflet is issued to OTTs when they take up post.

The position of OTTs after four years

5.  In order to teach after four years, OTTs must have been awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by the Teaching Reglation Agency in England.  OTTs who have been awarded QTS by the end of their four year period become qualified teachers and are allowed to continue teaching subject to UK Border Agency approval if required under the terms of their UK entry.

6.  It is unlawful for OTTs to continue teaching in state maintained schools and non-maintained special schools in England beyond four years if they have not been awarded QTS.  The temporary arrangement which allowed OTTs without QTS to teach after four years providing they were undertaking an employment based training programme ended on 31 August 2008. The policy has been restored to its original and intended position. OTTs without QTS may only teach after four years if:  

(i)   they have taken statutory maternity, paternity, adoption or parental leave during the four year period.  In such cases, the OTT is eligible for extra time equal to the amount of statutory maternity, parental, adoption or parental leave taken under the Employment Rights Act 1996.

For example, if a teacher has taken 34 weeks maternity leave during her 4 year period, she is allowed an extra 34 weeks to obtain QTS.

(ii)  they are employed as an Instructor who fills a teaching post but only when a school is unable to recruit a suitable qualified or trainee teacher.  The requirement is that an Instructor has skills, qualifications and experience relevant to the teaching post in question. The instructor appointment should only be made when a school cannot recruit a qualified or trainee teacher.  It is temporary until the post can be filled. 

7.  As Instructors are not included on the UK Border Agency shortage occupation list, a work permit may only be issued if the position has been advertised separately for a teacher and then an instructor.  If there is no resident labour available, a work permit may be issued for one year initially.  Further applications to extend the work permit will also be subject to the above advertising requirements.

Important new UK Border Agency requirements

8.  The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is introducing a new points-based system. The current work permit arrangements ends in late November 2008 and will be replaced by new arrangements for bringing overseas workers to the UK, including overseas-trained teachers. This will involve a new process based on sponsorship and involves new fees.  Schools and local authorities who use OTTS will need to be registered sponsors before they can bring OTTs to the UK.  School and LAs intending to become sponsors should apply to UKBA for a sponsor licence by 1 October 2008 so they are ready to issue certificates of sponsorship when the new scheme opens.   You will find more information here.  When the exact start date of the new scheme is announced, we will send an email to schools and local authorities.

What Is Global Development Delay ?

Babies are usually born programmed to learn important skills such as speaking, socialising or walking in predictable sequences of stages, with the help of encouragement, teaching and support as they grow up. These skills usually develop in predictable sequences and at predictable times. There are well-established average ages for when these stages of skill development occur, although they are all affected by familial factors (children in some families talk later than in others, walk later, or become dry at night later), racial factors (Black children by and large sit up, crawl and walk earlier than White children do) and social factors (children in homes with lots of books and opportunities to read and where reading is a valued and a frequent pastime will read earlier and better than others). All the above stages of skill development are known as developmental milestones and there are a number of these within recognised areas of development (developmental domains). A child with Developmental Delay has delayed achievement of one or more developmental milestones in one or more developmental domains. A child with Global Developmental Delay (GDD) is one who is delayed in achieving milestones within most, if not all, of these development domains. The prevalence of GDD is estimated to be 5-10 percent of the childhood population, and most children with GDD have impairment of all domains.

These domains of development can be summarized as follows:

  • Motor skills (milestones in this domain include, gross motor skills such as sitting up or rolling over and fine motor skills such as picking up small objects)
  • Speech and language (which also includes babbling, imitating speech, identifying sounds, communicating using non-verbal means such as gesture, facial expression, eye contact and posture, and understanding what others are trying to communicate to you – comprehension or “receptive language”)
  • Cognitive skills (the ability to learn new things, filter and process information, remember and recall, and to reason)
  • Social and emotional skills (interacting with others and development of personal traits and feelings)

Parents will often be the first to worry that their child has delays in one or more developmental domains. However children develop at notoriously different rates and the age at which a particular child reaches a specific developmental milestone can vary substantially. In fact, some children who do not reach developmental milestones on time may catch up later, sometimes with and sometimes without extra support, have no permanent problems and go on to develop normally.

Paediatricians screen routinely for delays and if they suspect GDD they may ask questions regarding the child’s progress and evaluate the child with a number of tests, both developmental (checking out what exactly a child is able to do) and medical (usually to try to find a cause for the developmental difficulties