Qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS) is the professional status for teachers in further education. Since 2012 schools can employ, as qualified teachers, holders of QTLS. Head teachers can now employ teachers irrespective of whether their background is in schools or further education.
New qualifications for teaching in the FE sector were introduced in 2013. Both sets of qualifications are regarded as valid so, whichever you do, you will be qualified.
- Level 3 Award in Education and Training (QCF) 12 credits
- Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (QCF) 36 credits
- Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (QCF) 120 credits
- Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector [PTLLS] 12 Credits
- Certificate of Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector [CTLLS] 36 Credits
- Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector [DTLLS] 120 Credits
Some universities may adopt different titles for their qualifications, for example they may be called PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET), Cert Ed, Post Graduate Diploma or Professional Diploma. All these qualify you to teach in the FE sector.
Until 2013 most teachers in FE were required to hold (or work towards gaining in a set time) the level 5 DTLLS. The Government removed these requirements in 2013. However employers are likely to continue to demand teaching qualifications from prospective teachers, or a commitment to gain them.
- AoC Jobs Association of Colleges, the member organisation for more than 320 FE colleges across England. FE colleges will provide you with on the job teacher training and a qualification. You don’t necessarily need to be a qualified teacher in order to become a teacher at FE colleges as many of the colleges will provide both the training that you will need, as well as teaching qualification. A range of articles including ‘Get into FE teaching’; ‘CV & Interview tips’
- Times Education Supplement (TES)
- The Guardian on Tuesdays
Part-time posts and short term contracts.
These can be a good starting point for an FE teaching career. Many part-time jobs, often called Sessional or Fractional lecturer, aren't advertised so it's worth checking college websites and making speculative applications to colleges.
Teaching agencies are used by employers to fill short term or part-time appointments
Teaching agencies include:
Find out more
You will need a degree in the subject you want to teach however for vocational courses such as plumbing you would normally need a recognised professional qualification and substantial work experience.
You will need to have, or be willing to get one of the teaching qualifications mentioned above.
The same qualifications will apply if you wish to teach or train in publicly funded work-based learning, adult and community education, the charitable and voluntary sector or prison service.
Qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS) can be achieved via a one-year full-time course, usually within a university teacher training context. You will spend 100 hours gaining practical teaching experience in a college or similar environment. Or through a two-year part-time course whilst working - will need to find some paid or unpaid teaching work to meet the requirements for supervised teaching assessments and observations.
Courses are available in Kent at; Christ Church University, Canterbury College, Mid Kent College, Thanet College and other providers. See FE Advice for a full list of course providers in the UK.
Funding your course
There are bursaries for maths and English teachers see Get into Teaching for full details of funding for courses.
There is no national pay scale for FE teachers. The college union UCU publishes a recommended pay scale but individual colleges choose whether to follow these guidelines
- FE Advice excellent and comprehensive information on teaching in the Further Education sector
- Further Education Lecturer job description
- FEjobs recruitment platform from the Association of Colleges
- FE Careers job advertising site in Further Education and Work Based Learning
- Information on working as a Lecturer in Higher Education,