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What is an 'unqualified teacher'?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by DELETED USER, Jan 25, 2012.



    Hi there. I'm having a bit of a rough time with my NQT year at the moment and have been informed that I can take a break from my induction to gain 'more experience' which will help me to improve in the long run.
    I was told today that I could get work as an unqualified teacher. Can anyone explain what exactly this is?
    I was told I could work as an HLTA, Supply Teacher or unqualified teacher. HLTA and supply I understand but I've never heard of the unqualified teacher in terms of getting a job.
  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You can't be paid as an unqualified teacher as you are already qualified. Your training ended with QTS. Induction is a post qualification hurdle in the State education system. You can fail Induction and would still remain a qualified teacher.
    You can take work in a school as a TA, asn HLTA or a Cover Supervisor. If employed as a teacher, you are apid as a qualified teacher.
    You could take a break and be a supply teacher but beware of that route. Just 3 or 4 years ago you could have guarantreed almost full employment on short and long-term supply teaching. Those days are gone. I've been on supply since 1999 and so far this year I've had 14 full days of teaching, ending in early October and 3 hours of work today. You wouldn't get much experience on that schedule of work and you'd not be able to support yourself either!
  3. In short, as you have QTS you cannot be employed as an unqualified teacher - that is an instructor, as you have qualified status, so this is not an option for you. I;m glad that the school has support in place, but you need to talk to the NQT adviser to see what else they can offer e.fg. extra training etc.
    You can only take a break if you take a job that is a non-teaching job e.g. a TA or a support post (technician for example).
    Do also talk to your union to seek specialsit help and advice.
  4. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    As others have said, think hard before you walk away from induction. Do not assume that you will get back in. And, consider the possibility that other roles will not give you the confidence and subject knowledge that you lack. Get as much help as you can in your current post and be very specific about what you need to do to improve. Don't rush into something that you might regret for a long time.


    Thanks. My worry is that I have not had a satisfactory observation yet and I've been observed every other week since the 6th week of term. It's really not looking like I'll get there by the end of the year and I don't want to keep battling a none winning battle just to fail and then not be able to return to teaching.
    If I leave induction early and take the break, at least I haven't completely failed and have the chance to try again if I choose to. But I am starting to think that teaching is not for me - I obviously can't be very good at it.
    I'm thinking of staying on at my current post until Easter. I only need to give a weeks notice for my leaving as I'm only on a year contract. If I haven't improved by then I think it's better to get out before I fail and still have a chance of redeeming myself.


    Thanks for all the replies but I'm still in the dark as to what an unqualified teacher actually is? I didn't think you could work as a teacher unless you are qualified.
  7. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Years ago they used to be many unqualified teachers in schools. My father employed several women without QTS in his Primary school in the 1960s. They had either A levels (or equivalent) or degrees but had not done a teacher training course.
    Public schools do not require QTS of their teachers. They have more and more teachers qith QTS but have always chosen more on academic ability and high-flyers from top universities have always been welcome.
    A Headteacher of one of the UK's leading public schools took early retirement a few years ago and put himself forward for work in State schools as a way of 'giving back'. He found it impossible to get work as he didn't have QTS despits over 30 years as a teacher and headteacher. He'd have more luck now that State schools are prepared to have Cover Supervisors in charge of classes when their maximum qualification might be a grade C at GCSE in English and Maths!
    There is a qualified teacher payscale and an official unqualified teacher payscale too. The unqualified scale is used for those on the Graduate Teacher programme who are employed by a school for ayear and get QTS at the end of it, teaching classes on their own all year.
    Schools can employ suitably qualified Instructors instead of qualified teachers if they can't recruit a teacher.
    Free schools and Academies can employ whoever they like to teach classes.
    I saw one advert on an employment site recently where a school (I think an Academy) wanted a fully qualified Art teacher and they were offering £7 to £9 per hour! The lower end on offer is just above the minimum wage and they'd only have been paying for the contact hours, so the person planning and assessing would actually be earning on or below the minimum wage when all the work time was incorporated.


    Thank you jubilee for your reply. Now I have my answer :)

    Right, now my tough decision is deciding whether to carry on with my induction year with the possibility of failing :( - can't say I'm the happiest bunny right now.
  9. I am in exactly the same position!

    I have had several lesson observations, all of which I have failed or got satisfactory. I have been told about my options and it has been suggested to me by the head that I leave at Easter.

    Unlike you, I do not feel supported by the school. I have totally lost my confidence and it is really affecting me.

    I am thinking about going down the TA route, but I am not sure if any school is going to want to employ a failing NQT!

    I really do feel for your situation. Keep your head up and remember to do what is best for you!


    At least you have had some satisfactory ones! If you don't feel supported by the school it probably is best for you to leave at Easter, or sooner if you can. If you leave part way through a term then that half term won't count. As I only had a 12month contract anyway I only have to give a weeks notice to be able to leave.

    I was told there is no time limit for going back to complete your induction. At least we can automatically be HLTA's, bit more money. I can't believe how little TA's get paid.

    I'm also worried about whether a school would want to employ a failing NQT. But I've been assured that schools do take them on, even if it's just a terms maternity cover to help you complete the induction year kind of thing.

    Good luck with whatever you choose to do!
  11. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    If someone who started in September leaves before Easter, without completing the second term, they will only 'bank' one Induction term and will have 2 still to do elsewhere.
    Leaving early often requires a negotiated release, with Union help, unless the school is already suggesting it.
    If you don't see out the second term (or the third one) no official assessment is made of that term.
    TA and HTLA pay works out at far less than the headline rates advertised.
    Support staff are usually employed for a maximum of 25 hours per week and the LA f/t hours are 37.5.
    They are also only employed for the 39 school weeks + 2 extra in school during school holidays + 4 paid holiday weeks, making 45 weeks maximum.
    Pay is worked out annually and then divided into 12 equal monthly payments.
    A headline rate of £14k per annum would be whittled down to £8076-92p after calculating a 25 hour week for 45 weeks. Monthly pay would be £673 gross.
  12. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You'd need to investigate how likely you were to get daily or longer-term supply teaching in your area. Daily rate for supply teaching should be around £100 per day so you'd only need 80 to 100 days of work (out of 195 school days) to be earning the same as a TA/HLTA and getting teaching experience at the same time.
  13. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    I want to draw on the positives here, you <u>successfully</u> passed your PGCE, you <u>successfully </u>secured a teaching post in a competitive market. You must have something going for you!
    You say you have failed all your observations. I find it difficult that some can get through the observations during the PGCE but cannot then pass a single observation as a NQT.
    Is it the school that are tough? Are the school not giving you the support you need? Surely they should be helping you to get yourself to at least satisfactory rather than just letting you fail.
    In my opinion you will struggle to regain a teaching post in the current market.


    The school is a good/outstanding so they have high expectations but they are not a tough school. Behaviour is great (apart from I'm struggling with my class - problems which I've been told I created, which I can see is probably true)

    They are giving me support but I just have huge gaps in my subject knowledge and my questioning is rubbish. I only passed my QTS with a satisfactory so maybe the person that passed me on that was an easy marker and actually should have failed me. I'm being told that my 'skills' are what the school would expect from a 2nd year student not an NQT. They are trying to get me to a satisfactory but it's just not happening in their eyes. My confidence has now gone and my stress levels are rising. I'm really stuck on what to do for the best!
  15. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    If you completed the B'ed then I feel your uni have failed you by not providing you with the subject knowledge you need to be a teacher in your age range.
    Behaviour can always be turned around and surely subject knowledge for teaching (did you say early years?) cannot be that complex. Surely you can address those gaps quite quickly? Your questioning might be rubbish but you can quickly pick that up with some help.
    The school appointed you as a teacher, I bet hundreds applied for the post. Your application and interview and lesson must have been outstanding so you must have the potential.
    Don't give up, sit down with your NQT mentor and have a clear understanding of exactly what you need to do to improve, you will get there. Just think, PGCE students study for 9 months and have to go from zero to hero in that time! In other words you need to learn everything in that very short period. You are already a lot more further advanced so you should be able to turn in around over the next couple of months.
  16. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    In that case, I would suggest that you consider applying for other posts, with a post Easter start, to be able to complete Induciton with a fresh start at another school.
  17. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    I agree with Jubilee, in light of the fact your contract is temporary, it will make it easier for you to apply for other teaching posts and will give you a good reason to tell potential schools for seeking work elsewhere. Like Jubilee said, a fresh start at another school may be what you need .

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