Initial teacher education is offered mainly by the University of Malta (UoM) and the Institute for Education (IFE). UoM offers the Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL), which is a two-year postgraduate degree. The Institute for Education offers a four-year undergraduate degree in Education (B.Ed) and a three-year postgraduate Master’s degree (M.Ed.) for prospective teachers with exit point at Postgraduate Certificate for those who already hold a B.Ed (Hons) and want to teach another subject in the same area. Another exit point at Postgraduate Diploma for those who hold a Bachelor Degree and need such a qualification in Education to be considered eligible for the position of regular teacher under the current Education Act.
Those wishing to teach at pre-primary level follow a two-year Advanced Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development offered by the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), pegged at Level 5 of the Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF), or equivalent.
As from school year 2015/2016, teachers in the Early Years Cycle (incorporating Kindergarten and the first two years of primary education) require a Bachelor’s Degree in Education (B.ED) in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) or a Bachelor’s Degree in ECEC and a Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL) in ECEC or equivalent.
Depending on the institution, a professional teacher training qualification is not always a prerequisite to teach at Higher Education institutions, although such a qualification would be considered an asset. Nonetheless, these institutions expect their academic staff to attain such a qualification as part of their professional development.
Teaching staff in state pre-primary, primary and secondary schools are career public officers. The Public Service Management Code and collective agreements agreed between the Government and the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) establish the working conditions of teaching staff employed in state schools.
The collective agreements negotiated between the institution and the teachers’ unions determine the working conditions of those working in higher education institutions.
Continuous professional development for teaching staff features across all levels of education. Those teaching at pre-primary, primary and secondary levels of education are required to attend 40 hours of Community of Professional Educators (COPE) time during school hours as agreed in the collective agreement signed between the Government of Malta and the MUT in 2017.
Those teaching at higher education institutions are expected and assisted to continue their professional development.
Academic staff at the University of Malta (UoM) are entitled to sabbatical leave and can also apply for a scholarship of the UoM. Junior College academic staff are entitled to unpaid special leave to enhance their academic knowledge in their respective area. The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) offers its academic staff, the first year of teacher training free of charge whilst academics at the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) can benefit themselves from progression points when undergoing professional development.