June 18th, 2014


This programme is currently under review and we are unable to accept any applications for September 2013 recruitment. Some candidates may instead be eligible for the Asessment Only (AO) Route. The following information is retained for reference only, for those currently on the programme.

The Overseas Trained Teacher Programme (OTTP) is an assessment route, designed for competent, experienced teachers from overseas, who wish to achieve Qualified Teacher Status. The OTTP does not involve extensive training or support, as the teachers who are accepted onto the programme are already operating at the level of qualified practitioners and they already have a recognised teaching qualification from abroad. This programme guides teachers through the evidence-based approach to demonstrating their competence.

However, Overseas Trained Teachers who have taught in this country for more than four years are eligible only for the Assessment Only (AO) route.

The programme excludes teachers who are qualified in the EEA and Switzerland because such teachers are allowed to seek work in the UK, without needing further qualification, under freedom of movement of labour legislation. Teachers with EEA or Swiss qualifications must contact the Department for Education to confirm their status.  Teachers who are qualified to teach in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA no longer need to pursue further qualification.  Further details can be found on the Department for Education website.


OTTs must have been teaching in the UK for less than four calendar years and be in a position to gain QTS before the expiry of the four year period. For details of the four year rule see the NCTL website.

We require original qualification certificates to be submitted at the time of application. We use the NARIC database to ensure that your qualifications have UK equivalence. Written confirmation of the equivalence of your certificates will be obtained and paid for by the university.

The following are minimum requirements for entry to an Initial Teacher Training course in England. These requirements are set by government and monitored by the NCTL and are not negotiable. Before being accepted for training, or assessment, you must prove that you have the following qualifications and documents, or their equivalents.

  • A degree equivalent to a British Bachelors degree (usually in the subject or a related subject to that being taught)
  • A teaching qualification from the OTT’s country of training, for the appropriate age ranges
  • You must have GCSE grade A* to C, or equivalent, in English language, Mathematics and, if working in the primary phase, Science
  • You must be employed by the school in which you wish to qualify
  • A valid permit to work and to be resident in the UK from the UK Border Agency

For teachers who were trained in a country where, in addition to a teaching qualification, there is a requirement to possess a state registration or licence (as in the UK), this will also need to be available as an entry requirement to the OTTP. This requirement applies to teachers trained in South Africa. The registration or licence should have been valid when the OTT entered the UK.

Additional notes:

a) A higher degree, such as a Masters degree, on its own will not normally be sufficient in lieu of an equivalent to Bachelors degree as the range of study is frequently not as broad.

b) A higher qualification is not normally considered as equivalent to GCSE unless no such equivalent qualification was available in the OTT’s country of origin. Whilst the level of study may be higher, the breadth is frequently narrower. Modules or units completed as part of a degree programme are not given equivalence by NARIC and are not acceptable as evidence of GCSE equivalence.

c) We cannot accept qualifications which only cover certain aspects of mathematics, such as geometry or calculus. The qualification must cover a similar breadth to the GCSE.

d) In order to be eligible for this programme, an overseas trained teacher must be employed as a teacher, on teachers’ pay and conditions. We cannot consider your application if you are employed in another capacity – for example Instructor, HLTA, LSA, technician.

Please note that all qualifications are subject to equivalency checks. Where you submit a qualification that is not recognised either on the NCTL’s equivalent qualifications list or on the NARIC database, you will be asked to provide further information before your application can be progressed. For documents which are not in English, OTTs must be able to provide official translations. Advice on the acquisition of these can frequently be obtained by the OTT from their embassy in the UK.

The university recognises that Overseas Trained Teachers are already qualified. However, in order to gain Qualified Teacher Status, an Overseas Trained Teacher must demonstrate the following. All candidates must satisfy the minimum requirements, as set out by the NCTL:

  • They must be able to communicate in Standard English.
  • They must be employed as a teacher by the school in which they wish to qualify. Those who wish to move schools during the programme must withdraw and re-apply with their new place of employment. Previous involvement in the programme is not a guarantee of a new place at a new school.
  • Candidates must select two consecutive age ranges in which to qualify, from the following – 3 to 5, 5 to 7, 7 to 9, 9 to11, 11 to 14, 14 to 16, 16 to 19 – and evidence of competence across the age ranges must be provided for assessment. Overseas Trained Teachers normally apply for qualification in the same age range as their overseas qualification. Overseas Trained Teachers who are trained in one phase of education, but now working in another, must arrange a placement in the age ranges in which they are qualified. For example, a teacher trained to teach 7 to 12 year old pupils, now teaching in a London Secondary school, would need to demonstrate competency in a junior school setting.
  • Candidates must demonstrate that they can manage whole classes and that they have sound knowledge of the National Curriculum across two consecutive key stages. (Candidates working in special schools or in support roles in mainstream must provide evidence of competence in managing whole classes across the age and ability range. This is usually achieved by arranging to teach an appropriate number of classes, over a suitable period of time in mainstream. Requirements will depend on relevant and recent experience. It is not possible to qualify while working solely in a Pupil Referral Unit.)
  • Secondary candidates must name a specialist subject, related to the National Curriculum or taught to public examination, in which they have a qualification equivalent to UK degree level.
  • Where an Overseas Trained Teacher is working in a school in special measures, or with serious weaknesses, we will only consider the application if it can be demonstrated that the Overseas Trained Teacher is operating as a qualified teacher and is adding value to the education of his/her pupils.
  • We can accept applications from teachers working for supply agencies. Such candidates may be considered for the OTTP provided that the length of time they work in the main training school is significant (e.g. a term or more full time) so that an appropriate programme may be devised. The school at which the supply teacher is to be trained must agree that they can provide employment for the duration of the OTTP and to support the OTT through it.
  • Candidates who have been employed as qualified teachers and have been teaching whole classes – either in this country, or abroad – for two years, or more, by the time the programme starts, are also eligible for assessment for exemption from induction.


In the first instance all candidates must register for an application form through this website. The application form will be emailed to you.

We will accept applications on an ongoing basis. Therefore, OTTs who submit a complete application will be interviewed and assessed and suitable candidates will be provided with a development plan and an appropriate start date for the programme. Please note that we are unable to approve applications over any school holiday periods.

Following receipt of a complete application and confirmation of qualifications and employment status the process is as follows:

Stage 1)
Formative Interview and observation, carried out by Tutor to confirm your evidence claim, audit knowledge, understanding and experience and establish your suitability for this, or another appropriate route. Those interviewed will be expected to communicate in Standard English.

Where sufficient evidence* is identified, the Tutor will identify weaknesses and gaps in evidence and set targets for the candidate, which may include elements of training/professional development and time frame in which to qualify.

Where evidence is insufficient, you will be directed to another, appropriate route, for training.

Stage 2)
Summative interview and observation, carried out by the Tutor, shortly before moderation. Confirms that targets have been met and the scope of evidence you have collected is sufficient and provides written feedback on performance and makes an assessment judgement about QTS.

You are strongly advised to complete the Literacy and Numeracy QTS Skills Tests as early in Stage 2 as possible. Candidates who fail the tests on three occasions will not be able to complete Stage 2 and will not be eligible for QTS assessment.

Stage 3)
Moderation, carried out by an independent moderator.

A three part process:

  • scrutiny of the portfolio of evidence that you have prepared
  • interview – you will be interviewed to confirm your achievement against the QTS standards. Your line manager or head teacher will also be interviewed
  • observation – two lessons – wherever possible, one in each age range

QTS Skills Tests

We will provide you with your TRN following successful completion of Stage 1. Use this number to log on to the NCTL website to register for the QTS skills tests. There are two tests, in Literacy and Numeracy. You can practice the tests by studying the examples given on the website. Please note that only the first attempt at the tests is free. A fee is charged for the second and third attempts at the tests. You must pass both QTS Skills Tests before completion of Stage 2.

Candidates who fail either test three times must wait two years, before making a further attempt. Details and fees are given on the DfE QTS Skills Tests page.


£1800, payable in two stages: £1000 for Stage 1 of the process, then a further £800 if the candidate is accepted for Stages 1 and 2 of the OTTP.  As this organisation signs a contract with the school, this amount is usually paid by the employing school, which may reclaim funds by negotiation with the candidate.  Candidates may proceed with the process before they have passed the skills tests.  However, they should note that payment is non-refundable  if they fail to pass either test.

It is a requirement that all those who are accepted onto the Programme are supported by a mentor. The role of the mentor is to provide written feedback following regular observations (six to eight lesson observations, which demonstrate that the candidate is at least meeting the teaching standards)  and to advise and support the candidate when he/she is gathering evidence.  Where mentor support has taken place, the school will be able to reclaim up to £250.


* 20% to 30% of verifiable evidence must be in the second age range. For example, a Key Stage One teacher, aiming to qualify in the age ranges 3 to 7, must supply evidence of at least two terms competence and curriculum understanding in an Early Years setting. Similarly, a teacher aiming to qualify in the 14 to 19 age ranges, with experience in post-compulsory education must supply evidence of substantial, successful class teaching and curriculum understanding in KS4.

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