Moving to the UK as a teacher is possible. The crazy thing is most people working as teachers in schools located in most countries around the world don’t know this. Most of them prefer to make a career switch from the academic sector to healthcare as caregivers. School teachers are urgently sought after in the UK.
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There are many reasons to consider moving to the UK as a teacher, the top of which is teaching in England or other countries in the United Kingdom while benefitting from working in a world-class education system. Not to talk of earning competitive wages.
Sometimes people’s plans to become teachers in the UK are hampered by fears of not yet becoming certified. This can be remedied by taking a teachers training that grooms you to become an international teacher. Teacher training can be done outside the UK, this is beneficial for those thinking of moving to this destination.
So, forget applying for IT and healthcare jobs, put a fork on your plans to apply for the global talent visa UK, particularly if you are a teacher in your home country. We will be highlighting everything you’ll need to move to the UK as a teacher in this article to make it as easy as possible for you.
Requirements For Moving To The UK As A Foreign Teacher
There are strict requirements for potential applicants from countries located outside the United Kingdom interested in relocating to this destination as teachers, essentially those who received their teacher qualification from non-UK countries. To teach in England, these individuals will need to have:
- The required teaching skills and necessary experience showing schools in the UK that they are a perfect fit
- A job offer from a school in the UK
- To apply for the right visa category
- To pass a professional background and criminal check conducted by A UK employer
In the addition to the above criteria for eligibility, it will also count as a plus if intending applicants interested in moving to the UK from US or other countries have teaching qualifications from their home countries or another non-UK country.
Is A Qualified Teacher Status Mandatory For Moving To The UK As A Teacher?
Upon completing a teacher training in England, a qualified teacher status (QTS) is the document received to show that an individual authorized to teach has been elevated to professional status. Non-UK teachers can teach in the UK without a QTS.
However, they must be qualified to teach in their home country before moving to the UK. After which they are permitted to work in English schools for a period of up to 4 years without a QTS. It must be stressed that acquiring a QTS makes getting teaching jobs easier than applying without one.
This is due to the fact that in numerous state ran schools in England, the qualified teacher status is seen as a legal requirement and becomes mandatory upon expiration of the 4-year exemption period new foreign teachers are afforded when they get recruited to teach in England without a QTS.
It’s also important to note that all English schools use the QTS to assess the quality of candidates for the various teaching jobs that are applied for, but it’s not a legal requirement in all types of schools, so in academy schools, free schools and private schools it’s not mandatory.
4-Year Rule For Teachers Moving To The UK
Teachers from outside the UK that have been certified are allowed to teach for a period of 4 years in England and this can be done without a QTS. This provision is available in schools that see a QTS as a legal requirement. This exemption is known as the 4-year rule.
There are mandatory conditions for eligibility under which the 4-year rule could apply:
- The individual must be a qualified teacher recognized in a country outside the UK
- He/she must have successfully completed a teacher training course which is recognized by the organization that regulates teachers in the country where he/she qualified
There are exemptions under which the 4-year rule does not apply these include:
- alternative provision academies
- pupil referral units (PRUs)
- And teaching roles where a QTS is required from the start of an employment such as in alternative provision free schools
As stated earlier, after a period of 4 years, foreign teachers teaching in the UK are required to get a QTS to be able to teach in state schools in England. Even in academies, free schools and private schools, where QTS is not legally mandatory, it is used to assess the quality of candidates for teaching jobs.
How To Apply For The Qualified Teacher Status
The teaching regulation agency accepts application for the qualified teacher status, this of course depends on the country in which applying teachers got their qualification to teach from. Applying via TRA is free, although there are key requirements that must be met to be eligible.
Teachers interested in getting a QTS through the teaching regulation agency towards moving to the UK to take up teaching positions offered by English schools, must have gotten their teaching qualification from:
- Countries in the European economic area (EEA)
- New Zealand
- the USA
If they are not from any of the above countries, then they are required to submit documents that proves they are recognized teachers in the country where they got their teaching qualification. Potential beneficiaries must also show that they have not been prohibited or restricted from teaching by a sanction.
New countries have been added to those eligible to apply for their QTS through teaching regulation agency, from 1 February 2023, teachers from the 9 countries listed below will be allowed to submit application for QTS via TRA.
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
Other Ways To Apply For The Qualified Teacher Status
While earning a salary as a teacher, an assessment only QTS could be applied for. This method is for teachers who fail to meet the criteria for eligibility put in place by the teaching relation agency.
Another way, is for interested teachers to take a teacher training upon whose completion could lead to an award of a qualified teacher status. This option is open for teachers who are already in the UK, but preparing to take up teaching roles in schools as well as those with plans to move to the UK.
Qualifications And Experience To Be Eligible For An Assessment Only QTS
There are qualifications that are required of people who are interested in applying for an assessment only QTS. Usually, a formal teacher training qualification is not required for this application.
Notwithstanding, potential candidates are expected to have:
- a minimum of 2 years’ teaching experience
- a first (bachelor’s) degree from a UK or non-UK university
- an English language qualification which is the same standard as a grade 4 GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education)
- a maths qualification which is the same standard as a grade 4 GCSE
- to teach children aged 3 to 11 in primary school, a physics, chemistry or biology (science) qualification which is the same standard as a grade 4 GCSE
Applicants must be mindful that a GCSE is an academic qualification awarded for examinations in England, usually taken at age 16.
Applicants looking to submit qualifications received from non-UK institutions, must bear in mind that assessment only teacher training providers may need to see a statement of comparability, which shows how they compare to UK qualifications.
For more inquires, interested applicants can call 0800 389 2500 for:
- guidance on the UK equivalents of their qualifications
- a free statement of comparability from UK ENIC once they have submitted their application, if the provider asks for this
It is important to note that the teaching experience must:
- consist of time spent teaching (as opposed to other responsibilities in a school)
- have taken place in 2 separate schools (not 2 classes within the same school or 2 school sites within the same organization)
- show that the candidate taught young people from a range of different backgrounds
- demonstrate he/she is familiar with different approaches to teaching, learning and school management
The applicant’s teaching experience can be:
- gained in any type of school, for example, international schools, schools teaching the International Baccalaureate, and state-maintained schools outside the UK
- spent teaching a non-English curriculum (though you may need to show you have knowledge of the subjects taught in the English curriculum)
- divided between 2 school settings as long as you have 2 years’ teaching experience in total
Assessment only QTS costs
Foreign teachers interested in taking the assessment only route to obtain their QTS are required to pay fees that range from about £1,500 to £4,000, but vary between providers and may be substantially more for potential beneficiaries outside the UK. Thus, it is recommended to check with individual providers for more details.
How to apply for an assessment only QTS
Teachers moving to the UK, who are interested in taking the assessment only qualified teacher status, must note that their application should be made to one of the UK government’s approved assessment only teacher training providers in England. They do not need to visit or train in England to do assessment only QTS.
In-person assessment of the quality of the teacher’s class tutoring as well as experience will be carried out in his/her place of work by an examiner from their chosen teacher training provider.
Before an application is submitted, it paramount to reach out to a referred teacher training provider directly to:
- verify that they can come to the potential applicant’s country to do the assessment (if you’re not in England)
- verify that they accept international applications for assessment only QTS
- confirm eligibility for assessment only
- find more about their specific requirements
Upon successfully applying for an assessment only QTS, the teacher training provider will:
- embark on ensuring that the successful applicant’s body of work that showcases his/her teaching range is put in a portfolio, proving that the candidate meets the English teacher’s standard
- carry out an independent assessment of the applicant’s teaching
- request to see evidence of potential beneficiary’s qualifications
- possibly require the candidate/candidates to sit for a test showing their proficiency in written and spoken English, which must be of the same standard as a grade 4 in GCSE English language
- possibly require that the applicant sits for a test to demonstrate his/her mathematics knowledge is of a high level and, for primary school teaching, science knowledge is the same standard as a grade 4 in GCSE mathematics or science
Applicants are also required to:
- have the physical capacity as well as be in peak health to teach
- subject themselves to safeguarding checks to assess their suitability to teach, carried out by the assessment only provider
Upon meeting all the criteria set aside by the assessment only provider, showing that the candidate meets the standards required to teach in England, he/she will then be awarded a QTS. Which then makes them eligible to apply for teaching jobs in England.
Applicants who fall short of meeting the standards required for the assessment only QTS, can:
- always re-apply when they have gained more relevant skills and experience
- they can also obtain their QTS by training to teach in England
Click here to contact assessment only QTS providers in your city.
How Apply For Teacher Training In England
If the applicant/applicants is from a country outside the UK, they are eligible to apply to train to teach in England. There are however academic qualifications and visa requirements for non-UK applicants interested in training to teach in England as well as methods of applying for a teacher training course.
When a person applies for a teacher training course in England leading to QTS, they will:
- be required to pay a fee (starting at £12,000) which is excluding the applicant’s living costs
- they will be mandated to undergo a year of full-time training
- they must be open to relocating to the UK
Criteria For Teaching Training Eligibility In The UK
Those interested in training to teach in England are required to have:
- a university degree (UK or non-UK)
- a standard equivalent to a grade 4 using the GCSE grading scale for English and mathematics
- a letter confirming an offer of a training place from an English teacher training provider
- an immigration status which allows you to train to teach in the UK
Applicants will also need to:
- have the physical capacity as well as be in peak health to teach
- subject themselves to safeguarding checks to assess their suitability to teach, carried out by the assessment only provider
- show their training provider they meet the standards for English and maths
How To Qualify For Teachers With Special Educational Needs And Disabilities (SEND)
It is important to be able to adapt teaching skills to suit the needs of array of pupils at all levels and age groups. Teachers who cannot meet this criterion are not eligible to apply for the qualified teacher status via the teaching regulation agency, even though they are from member countries accepted.
Teachers with special educational needs under the SEND category can still apply for the QTS through the assessment only route or by putting in an application for a teacher training course, which must be done in England. All SEND teachers worldwide are eligible for these routes.
If uncertain of eligibility to apply for a qualified teacher status through teaching regulation agency, reach out by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Qualified Teacher Learning And Skills (QTLS)
Teachers with a qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS) status and are also members of the Society for Education and Training (SET), are eligible to work as qualified teachers hirable by schools in England. However, schools and local authorities will have to decide whether applicants are suitable for specific roles.
This qualification grants exemption of statutory early career teacher induction periods in schools.
International Teacher Training Courses That Do Not Include QTS
For individuals or teachers interested in getting an educational qualification to beef up their CV, there are a number of international teacher training courses that are offered by both English and non-English colleges and universities to candidates outside England.
Although, these courses do not lead to a QTS and will not qualify the beneficiary to teach in English schools where QTS is a legal requirement:
- Postgraduate Certificate of Education, or iPGCE)
- Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE), when completed outside the UK
- Postgraduate Certificate of Education International (PGCEi, sometimes called an International;
- Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), when completed outside the UK
However, upon completion of any one of these courses, and depending on where the recipient obtained his/her experience and qualifications, they can apply for either an assessment only QTS or get to train to teach in England.
Do Colleges And Universities In England Help With QTS?
There are English colleges and universities who offer a postgraduate certificate of education international (PGCEi) and similar courses who can help with an application for assessment only QTS. Its possible to check which training providers offer this support.
This can be done by accessing the list of approved teacher training providers in England and reaching out to them for advice.
It must be stressed that combined PGCE and QTS teacher training courses are rare and only available if the candidate studies in England. To get more details on this, potential applicants are advised to use the search tool to find postgraduate teacher training services.
Moving To The UK As A Teacher From Other Countries With QTS
Its worthy of mention that the UK home office is keen on increasing the number of non-UK teachers entering England for the sole purpose of taking up teaching roles in schools. Thus, teaching in England is open for people who obtained their qualification from countries outside the UK.
Interested teachers who think moving to the UK is best for their career advancement can use the teaching vacancies service to identify and apply for teaching jobs in England.
Do note that whatever route taken to obtain a QTS, applicants interested in holding down teaching jobs in England will need to:
- Have substantial teaching experience which must be demonstrated to the employer
- Show evidence of high standard of written and spoken English – for instance, British Council B2 level
- Pass a mandatory professional background and criminal checks, which includes an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check to be organized by the applicant’s employer
- Show that he/she is knowledgeable in the English education system
An English QTS is recognized in many countries around the world. However, beneficiaries are advised to always check with the organization responsible for regulating teachers in the country where they want to teach.
Early Career Teacher (ECT) Induction
After obtaining a qualified teacher status, the final step for teachers working in English schools is to complete their professional training by carrying out a 2-year early career teacher induction. This is usually for teachers from countries outside the UK.
3 categories of QTS beneficiaries are mandated to complete their early career induction, these are;
- Teachers who applied and received their QTS through the teaching regulation agency after having shown that they have at least 2 years of experience as a teacher
- Those who processed their QTS through the assessment only method
- And those that got their QTS by teacher training in England
Recipients will work and be assessed as paid teachers in their individual schools, during their early career teacher induction. Periods of induction are seen as part of an early career framework for teachers. Tutors are required to show that they meet the teachers’ standards, while getting support from a mentor.
Early Career Teacher Induction For Teachers Working Outside The UK
Some people with plans of moving to the UK as teachers having secured work with an English school, but currently working outside England and having successfully applied for a QTS via the assessment route, may be eligible to complete their induction period in England.
However, they must first check with their assessment only provider, to know if they need to take part in an induction period. ECT induction could be completed outside England, in the country where the applicant is currently working or training in.
If this is the case, then the teacher must take note that the school in which he/she is seeking to complete their induction in is mandated to meet all requirements. A list of schools which have met these requirements are listed here.
How To Apply For Teaching Jobs In The UK
Teachers or would be teachers interested in moving to the UK are required to find and be accepted by UK employers to fill teaching jobs, they are expected to apply to individual schools and not the Department for Education.
Teaching jobs can be searched by subject specialty, region or even age group. It is worthy of note that most job openings for teaching positions in the UK are advertised in March, April or usually in the first half of May. With jobs starting at the beginning of the school year in September.
To search for teaching vacancies, click here.
Teacher Salary Cap For Moving To The UK
Depending on the county in which the teacher will be working from in England, there is a salary threshold that must be met if the individual is to be granted a visa to come into the UK. The salary rates for people with QTS and those without are quite different. Also, wages depend on intended work area.
Below is a representation of the minimum wage structure non-UK teachers are mandated to earn to be eligible for a work visa. It is displayed by region as well as by status (QTS and non-QTS).
|Inner London||Outer London||London Fringe||Rest of England|
Moving To The UK To Work As A Part Time Teacher
Moving to the UK to work as a part time teacher is possible. However, all salary thresholds must be met for the visa category being applied for to move abroad. Broadly speaking requirements to work in the UK as a part time teacher falls under 2 categories:
- The part time salary is expected to be at least £20,480
- The minimum salary set for each region and status (with QTS or without QTS) must be equivalent to the applicant’s full-time salary.
Provisions For Teachers Under The EU Settlement Scheme
People from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, might be able to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living, working and studying in the UK without applying for a visa. Although, the deadline for most people to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme was 30 June 2021.
However, individuals and their family members who are from the EEA or Switzerland, can still apply if they or their family members were living in the UK by 31 December 2020. There are other criteria that must be met for late submission, such as;
- Meeting one of the criteria for submitting an application at periods after the deadline
- There are reasonable grounds for not putting in an application on or before 30 June 2021
People who have pre-settled status can still apply for the EU settlement scheme. Another EU settlement scheme application must be put in again before expiration of the pervious pre-settlement status.
Right Visa For Moving To The UK As A Teacher
The best visa category to apply for when planning on moving to the UK as a teacher is the skilled worker visa. Before applying for this visa category, potential applicants will have to search for jobs that require teachers to fill them up in England.
Interested qualified teachers could also have to use the UK government’s teaching vacancies service to search for available roles for teachers in schools.
It is vital that before applying for a teaching job within a school, applicants must first reach out to the target school making sure that they are a home office licensed sponsor. Sponsor schools, can help push specific applications forward for a visa. Non participating schools could change their status and become sponsors to hire a particular candidate.
Before you apply for a teaching job, contact the school to make sure it is a Home Office licensed sponsor. If the school is a sponsor, it can help you apply for your visa. Schools can also become sponsors to employ you.
To apply for a skilled worker visa, there are certain criteria that needs to be met:
- For one, intending applicants must have a job offer from a school that is a licensed home office sponsor
- Must be able to speak, read, write, and understand English
- Expected salary needs to meet salary requirement for a skilled worker visa applicant
Moving To The UK As A Teacher Without A skilled Worker Visa
There are other visa categories that can be used for moving to the UK as a teacher without a skilled worker visa. Teachers from outside the UK can use other visa and immigration routes to move to England for the purpose of working as a teacher.
International students already in the UK can apply for a graduate visa, upon completing their degree programs. Before applying for this visa, the applicant need be sponsored by a home office licensed student sponsor over the course duration of their studies.
This visa category allows recipients work or go jobhunting in the United Kingdom for a period up to 2 years after completing their studies without a sponsor. PhD students get 3 years.
Graduate visa beneficiaries are able to switch to other categories of visa such as the skilled worker visa without a need to travel out of the country, as long as certain key requirements are met for the new visa.
High potential individual visa
To be eligible for a high potential individual visa, potential recipients must have:
- Either one of a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or PhD from a university listed in the Global Universities list
- have been awarded the qualification no more than 5 years before a visa application is submitted
- have English language skills to B1 intermediate level
- Show proof of funds containing personal funds of £1,270
- pass a background security and criminality check
It must be noted that applicants for the high potential individual visa do not need an offer of a teaching job to apply for the visa and they’ll be able to stay in the UK for 2 years with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, and 3 years with a PhD.
Youth Mobility Scheme Visa
The Youth Mobility Scheme allows young people aged 18 to 30 from certain countries to move to the UK each year to study or work without a sponsoring educational institution or sponsoring employer. This of course includes working as a teacher.
However, a Youth Mobility Scheme visa lasts up to 2 years. The recipient may be able to switch from a Youth Mobility Scheme visa to another visa route (for example the skilled worker visa) without having to leave the UK. He/she will need to meet the requirements for the other visa route.
Other Applicable Visa Categories
Other applicable visa categories that could be used for the purpose of moving to the UK from South Africa, US or any other part of the world, depends on the applicant’s personal circumstances. It is possible to work on alternative visas – for instance, a Family visa, a UK Ancestry visa or, if a person is from Hong Kong, a British National (Overseas) visa.
How To Get Documents Vetted Before Moving To The UK As A Teacher
Fuse Chronicles recommends that teachers interested in moving to the UK to take teaching roles in English schools get their documents vetted before applying for these open positions. This is to prevent any surprise that could come up.
To inquire about possibility of moving to the UK from US or any other country around the world to continue a teaching profession, intending applicants should send their inquiries to email@example.com.
Moving to the UK just became a lot easier if you are a teacher, as the United Kingdom is in dare need of teachers to relocate to the UK to take open positions in different schools that require their services to begin teaching different subjects.
However, to be granted a skilled worker visa to move to the UK as a teacher, potential beneficiaries are expected to apply and be accepted by English schools. Then they are expected to prove their experience and quality in the field of teaching as well as be subject to a security check.
Professional teachers who relocate to UK without obtaining any further qualification such as a qualified teacher status can only teach in the United Kingdom for a period of 4 years. To eliminate this status of limitation, this document has to be obtained.
A qualified teacher status which is a certification given to professional teachers in the UK upon concluding their teaching training. This can be obtained by submitting the required documents to the teaching regulation agency, which only accepts applications from people who are from select countries.
A QTS can also be obtained by registering for an assessment only qualified teacher status or obtained upon concluding a teacher training course. After this the final stage is an early career induction, were new teachers are observed and assessed to make sure they are a perfect fit for UK schools.
To move to the UK, applicants are required to select the right visa category. Other than the skilled work visa UK, there are other categories of visas that teachers could exploit in their quest towards moving to the UK. Some don’t require them getting sponsorship teaching jobs with schools in the UK, however applicants for this are expected to fall under an age range.
Before applying for teaching jobs or visa to immigrate to UK, applicants are recommended to get their documents vetted to reduce the chances of being denied visa when they apply. To do this, reaching out to the UK department for education (DfE) is the best course of action.
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