All teachers who enter the profession to teach in compulsory state education in England are required to have achieved, or be working towards, a teaching qualification which satisfies the national standards set out by the Department for Children, Schools, and Families for qualified teacher status. There are several available routes to QTS. The most usual are full‐time teacher education programmes offered by universities and other higher education institutions, which lead to the award of Bachelor of Education for non‐graduate candidates, or Postgraduate Certificate of Education or Professional Graduate Certificate of Education for those already possessing a degree. The formal qualification must be followed by successful completion of a year's work as a newly qualified teacher (NQT), known as the NQT year, before the teacher is deemed to be a fully qualified member of the profession under the terms of the General Teaching Council. There are also routes, such as the Graduate Teacher Programme, which allow the teaching qualification to be gained while the candidate is teaching in a school. The standards consist of three components: professional values and practice, knowledge and understanding, and practical teaching. To gain QTS, all candidates must also achieve a satisfactory score in a compulsory test of their literacy, numeracy, and information technology skills, which is undertaken online and administrated by the Training and Development Agency (TDA). The QTS standards apply specifically to teachers in England. Similar standards, but with specific reference issues in Welsh schools, apply in Wales. Teachers who hold teaching qualifications awarded outside the United Kingdom, but who wish to teach within the UK, may be required to undertake the overseas trained teacher route in order to gain QTS, although there is a growing movement towards establishing a system of recognition and equivalence between teaching qualifications awarded within the European Union.
http://www.tda.gov.uk/partners/ittstandards.aspx The TDA site dealing with standards.
http://www.teacherstalk.co.uk/resources/qualified_teacher_status.php Further details about the components of QTS.
http://www.tda.gov.uk/skillstests.aspx Further information about the QTS skills test.
http://www.tda.gov.uk/Recruit/faqs/becomingateacher.aspx Details of QTS as it applies in Wales.