Early Years Teacher Status | Oxfordshire County Council

Early Years Teacher Status

Early Years Professional Status has been replaced with the Early Years Teacher Status.

Early years initial teacher training leads to the award of early years teacher status. Training and assessment are designed around the teaching standards for early years (known as the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years)). These standards focus on the birth to five-years-old age range.

Early years teacher status is level 6 which is the same level as qualified teacher status (QTS) although it is not the same qualification as QTS and although it will not entitle you to work as a qualified teacher in the maintained sector it will mean you can teach in Academies.

From September 2014, early years initial teacher training (ITT) has been run by accredited ITT providers only. These providers cover both QTS and early years teacher status. Here is the list of early years initial teacher training providers and School Direct (Early Years) lead organisations with training places for September 2017

Further information on EYTS can be found on the EYITT government website.

What is an Early Years Teacher?

Early Years Teachers are specialists in early childhood development, trained to work with babies and young children from birth to five. They are graduate leaders responsible for organising and leading high quality practice in early years settings. To ensure that the training and assessment of Early Years Teachers is appropriate for trainees a set of Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) have been developed. These build on the Early Years Professional Status Standards and operate in parallel with the current Teachers’ Standards. Those who successfully meet the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) will be awarded Early Years Teacher Status.

How to achieve Early Years Teacher Status

Early Years Teachers will be required to meet the same entry requirements and pass the same skills tests as trainee school teachers. Since September 2014 it has been necessary to have at least a C grade in English, maths and science at GCSE. There is also an additional requirement to pass the same skills tests as classroom teacher trainees, before starting an Early Years Teacher course.

Training routes

There are four routes that lead to the award of early years teacher status. Details of available funding, including bursary rates for the academic year 2016 to 2017 are in the early years initial teacher training (ITT): funding guidance.

Graduate entry (full-time)

We fund this route and training is typically over a 1 year period. Some trainees may be eligible for a bursary.

This route also includes School Direct (Early Years). Schools and nurseries can work in partnership with accredited ITT providers.

School Direct (Early Years) places are allocated to lead organisations (schools and nurseries). This delivery method enables lead organisations to:

  • influence how early years teachers are trained
  • recruit trainees that best meet their partnerships’ needs
  • offer trainees work after completing their training within the group of schools/nurseries they trained in
  • decide which accredited ITT provider to work with under a partnership agreement

Find the School Direct (Early Years) lead organisations.

Graduate employment based (part-time)

This is for graduates working in an early years setting who require training and further experience to meet the requirements of the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years). We provide funding for training costs and additional funding is also available to contribute towards employers’ costs.

Undergraduate entry (full-time)

This is for those who wish to undertake a level 6 degree in an early childhood related subject along with early years teacher training. It is typically a full time 3 or 4 year route for those entering the profession.

Funding for course fees may be accessed by eligible trainees through tuition fee loans from Student Finance England (SFE).

Assessment only

This is for graduates with experience of working with children from birth to five years old who can meet the requirements of the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) without further training. An example of this is an early years teacher from overseas. Assessment typically takes place over three months.

We don’t fund this route; it’s self-funded.

Please see our early years initial teacher training: funding guidance for further information.

Entry requirements for candidates

You must ensure candidates:

  • have achieved GCSEs, grade C (or equivalent) in English, maths and a science subject
  • hold a degree (Level 6) from a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification (in the case of graduate routes)
  • have taken part in a rigorous selection process designed to assess their suitability to teach
  • have passed the professional skills tests

Qualifications in key and functional skills at level 2 are not equivalent to GCSEs in terms of content. You should look for additional evidence of knowledge and understanding for applicants with these skills certificates but without GCSEs at grade C or above in English and maths.

Applicants with a GCSE grade C or above in English language meet the requirement. You should look for further evidence of a breadth of achievement in English where applicants have achieved a GCSE grade C or above in English literature.

Contacts for Early Years Teacher Status pathways:

Brookes University
Routes offered: Graduate Entry Employment Based (funded) and Assessment Only (non-funded)

University of Reading
Routes offered: Graduate Entry Employment Based (funded) and Graduate Entry Mainstream HEI (funded)

University of Northampton
Routes offered: Graduate Entry Employment Based (funded), Graduate Entry Mainstream HEI (funded) and Undergraduate Entry (non-funded).

Last reviewed
21 June 2018
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