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Ideas & Observations

Sunderland teacher training goes international as university selected for pioneering pilot

The University of Sunderland is to become one of only six UK providers for a prestigious pilot scheme set to create the next generation of international teachers.

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that the University will roll out the new international Qualified Teacher (iQTS) pilot, starting this September.

iQTS is a UK government-backed international teaching qualification, recognised by the DfE, as equivalent to English Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Dean of the University’s Faculty of Education and Society, Professor Lynne McKenna, said: “As a long-standing provider of International Initial Teacher Training for over 20 years, we are delighted that the University has been selected as one of the six iQTS pilot providers.

“Recognised by the DfE, as equivalent to English Qualified Teacher Status, the new iQTS is a welcome addition to our existing UK initial teacher training and our international initial teacher training provision.”

The idea is that the new iQTS Pilot will be based on the country’s world-renowned teacher training standards and methods, making this standard achievable in schools around the world.

Professor McKenna added: “We are delighted that our bid was successful and my thanks go to the whole team and notably, Dr Lawrence Nixon, Dionne Ross, Ian Elliott and Dr Elizabeth Hidson whose experience in providing international initial teacher education contributed to the strength of the bid.

“We anticipate that the new qualification will be highly attractive to teachers and aspirational teachers working in the international sector.”

The government launched a public consultation which introduced proposals for a new international teaching qualification back in February 2021. This led to the announcement of the iQTS as part of the International Education Strategy 2021 Update to help export excellence in teacher training.

At the end of last year, the DfE invited accredited English initial teacher training (ITT) providers to submit a bid to be a pilot provider of the iQTS training programme.