Under new government proposals teachers could be subject to assessment of their skills every five years.
As part of the Department for Children, Schools and Families' white paper on the future of education, a licence to teach could be created.
This would be introduced from 2010 for newly-qualified teachers and help improve the status of teaching, said schools secretary Ed Balls.
Announcing the proposals, the minister promised they would deliver "new guarantees for pupils and parents" and give schools more power.
Schools would also be examined and evaluated with a grade card, said the minister.
The efforts of teaching assistants
and teachers could then influence not only their own performance, but also that of their school, which would be graded A to D.
General secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, Dr Mary Bousted, claimed the paper "loses sight of what's best for children's learning".