Please find below, a number of frequently asked questions (back to help):
As an overseas trained teacher, what do I need to be able to teach in the UK?
In order to come to the UK and teach you will need to have the following:
1. You will need to have QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) unless you are working temporarily for a maximum of four months and you need to be registered with the General Teaching Council.
If you qualified as a school teacher in another country you will need to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) before you can work as a permanent, qualified teacher in England. The TTA's Overseas Trained Teacher Programme gives Overseas Trained Teachers (OTTs) the opportunity to gain QTS while they work in a school. There are special arrangements which give Overseas Trained Teachers the option of presenting themselves for QTS assessment without further training. For more information visit the Training and Development Agency (TDA) website.
2. Your qualifications must be recognised and given a UK equivalent. The best people to talk to about this are NARIC (the National Academic Recognition Information Centre). They can give you further information regarding your qualifications and their equivalent in the UK.
3. You will need a work permit. The Border and Immigration Agency can provide further information on obtaining a work permit.
There is a section in Advice for non-UK teachers about the procedures that you will need to go through and the agencies that can provide you with information.
Should you need any more detailed information, visit the Training and Development Agency's website where there is a more comprehensive guide to all aspects of teaching.
What is QTS and how do I get it?
QTS stands for Qualified Teacher Status. This is awarded to a teacher who has completed an appropriate teaching qualification and is deemed to uphold the professional code of the General Teaching Council of England. Only a teacher with QTS can be employed in a maintained school on a permanent contract, with pay according to the qualified teacher pay scale and access to continuing professional development and pension contributions. The most common route to QTS is through the completion of a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) followed by a year’s induction in schools. For full details of the standards for QTS visit: Training and Development Agency website.
What is a CRB and how long is it valid for?
A CRB is the common term used to refer to a background check performed by the Criminal Records Bureau. A clear ‘enhanced disclosure’ from the CRB is an essential pre-requisite for any person who wishes to work with children or vulnerable adults, regardless of their job role.
Enhanced disclosure takes between three and six weeks from initial application. You cannot work in the presence of children or vulnerable adults until this is returned. Under the present DCSF guidelines, a CRB check is valid for three years unless you have a break in service of over three months, in which case a new disclosure will be required. Visit the CRB website for information on services, your rights and details of the check.
What is a spine point?
All teachers working in the maintained sector are paid according to the Main Pay Scale. This ensures that teachers’ pay is proportionate to their experience, level of qualification, level of responsibility and the cost of living in their area.
Classroom teachers begin on the main pay scale (MPS). This is broken down according to location into England and Wales, Inner London, Outer London and Fringe. This scale runs from M1 to M6. Each September teachers move up a point on the scale subject to satisfactory performance. It should be noted that at least one period per week must be completed over a twenty-six week period to count as a ‘year in teaching’.
Upon reaching the top of the main pay scale a teacher will be assessed against eight national standards. If successful they will have the opportunity to be assessed to cross the ‘threshold’ to the upper pay scale (UPS). This scale runs from U1 to U5.
Additional salary points and opportunities to earn are made available for further specialism or responsibility.
What is the GTC?
The GTC is the General Teaching Council for England. The role of the GTC includes the improvement of standards in teaching and in the quality of learning. It is particularly concerned with professional standards and acts as a regulator of teaching standards, including a disciplinary function.
GTC registration is required for all teachers with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Overseas Trained Teachers (OTTs) may work in England for up to four years without QTS but if an OTT gains QTS then registration is required.
Alternatively, if you are considering teaching in Wales, visit the General Teaching Council for Wales website.
What is the difference between a state school and an independent school?
There are several types of state schools forming what is referred to as the ‘maintained sector’. Essentially, the significant differences between the maintained and independent sector are in funding.
A maintained school is owned and funded by an external body. This is usually the Local Authority for that area, a charitable organisation or a church foundation. Schools in the maintained sector have to deliver the national curriculum.
An independent school is usually funded by fee-paying students and is not maintained by the Local Authority or central government. Such a school is not required to follow the national curriculum, although the majority do.
What is the DCSF?
The DCSF, or the Department for Children, Schools and Families, is the agency responsible for education in England and is headed by the Secretary of State. The goals of the DCSF are; “to give children an excellent start in education, enable young people to equip themselves with life and work skills and encourage adults to achieve their full potential through learning.” For more information, visit the DCSF website.
What is the national curriculum?
The national curriculum (NC) is the outlined educational requirement for pupils of a compulsory school age (5-16yrs). It is organised on the basis of five key stages: Key Stage 1 applies to children aged 3-5, Key Stage 2 & 3 are applicable to primary schools and Key Stage 4 & 5 to secondary schools. For a comprehensive summary of the national curriculum visit the National Curriculum website.
Where can I find schools that are looking for graduates for the Graduate Teacher Training Programme?
This is a tricky one. In the vast majority of instances the most effective way to find a school to support you through a GTTP is by making independent individual applications to all schools in your area. Some positions may be advertised on LA websites. Further guidance is available from the GTC helpline on (0870) 001 0308.
I am an overseas trained teacher. Where can I get advice about teaching in the UK?
A great place to start is the International Zone on eteach.com, providing comprehensive information on the UK education system, qualifications, curriculum, types of schools, visas and work permits. For further information visit Teachernet or call the TDA helpline on 0845 6000 991.
Why is it that, when I conduct a search before logging in, I get more vacancies shown than if I conduct a search after I have logged in?
Schools can specify the location (or country) they wish to receive applications from. It is most likely that you are unable to apply for certain vacancies as you are not resident in the country in which the position is advertised. Alternatively, you may not have qualifications which have been specified by the advertisers as necessary for the post. Before applying for positions, please check that you have the relevant qualifications and/or satisfy the specified criteria.
I am an Overseas Trained Teacher - can I undertake supply work?
Overseas trained teachers (OTTs) from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are able to teach in England for up to four years without the need to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), provided that your visa / work permit allows you to work in the UK. As such you are able to undertake supply work and this is, in fact, a recommended means for OTTs to gain experience of the UK education system and British schools prior to gaining QTS. To find out about working in an Eteach managed supply pool visit the Eteach Supply Teaching section.
How can I achieve QTS while working in the UK?
The Teacher Training Agency is responsible for enabling Overseas Trained Teachers (OTTs) to attain QTS while working in the UK. Your application must be overseen by a recommending body, such as the school in which you are working. If you feel that you need support you may follow a training plan that could last up to a year. If not, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the required QTS standards. As a qualified teacher from overseas you can apply for QTS assessment without any further training.
How can I find out if I need a work permit to work in the UK?
There are many countries from which nationals do not require a work permit to gain employment in the UK. To clarify your personal situation contact the British Embassy or High Commission in your country.