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QTS or PGCE – Which one is better?

teacher with qts and pgce

Do you need to choose between QTS or PGCE but don’t know what the difference is? QTS and PGCE are both qualifications related to education and teaching, but they have different qualities that you need to know about if you’re planning on going into teaching. In this article, we talk about the difference between these two qualifications, whether one qualification is better than the other and how you can achieve both at the same time.

What is QTS?

QTS stands for qualified teacher status. You’ll receive this qualification upon completion of your year in teacher training. It means you’ve met the Teacher’s Standards set out by the government and are now able to work as a teacher in a state school within England or Wales, depending on where you qualified.

This is a qualification you will receive after completing the Leeds SCITT course.

What is PGCE?

PGCE stands for Postgraduate Certificate in Education. It’s an internationally recognised academic qualification which counts towards a masters degree and is awarded by Higher Education Institutions. A PGCE is not a requirement to teach in England and Wales, however, it demonstrates a solid understanding of education theory and research. It also counts towards part of a master’s degree.

Because Leeds SCITT works in partnership with Leeds Trinity University, we are able to offer an optional PGCE qualification as part of the course, alongside achieving QTS.

Which one is better?

The short answer is, it depends! It depends entirely on your situation and career aspirations whether you choose QTS or PGCE.

The QTS is a requirement for anyone wishing to teach in a state school within England and Wales. It’s not always perceived as an academic qualification when compared to a PGCE, but it is essential for progressing to your NQT year within a state school. Without it, your teaching options may be more limited, even with a PGCE qualification.

The PGCE however, will certainly open you up to more opportunities worldwide, if that is what you’re looking for. This is because it is a more internationally recognised qualification. It gives a grounding in the theory of education and lets you engage with research on the topic.

If you want to become a teacher in a state school after completing a PGCE, you need to make sure it also offers QTS. A PGCE-only course means you’re not fully qualified to teach within a state school but you could teach in other environments, such as in adult education.

A course for both QTS and PGCE

There are courses out there that only provide QTS or only PGCE, whereas some provide both. Which one you choose is up to you.

Luckily, the Leeds SCITT course offers QTS upon successful completion of the course, with the option to also obtain a PGCE. This gives you the best of both, if you feel up to the challenge.

It requires a lot more time commitment and academic study alongside your immersive school-centred training. But, by undertaking a PGCE course with your QTS, you’ll gain a greater understanding of the theoretical side to education which you can then implement into your practical work.

Ready to apply for a course with us? Visit our How to Apply section for what to do next

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