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Teaching in the UK

Overseas Trained Teachers FAQs

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.

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.

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.

What is QTS and how can I achieve it whilst working in the UK?

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 Teaching Agency. For more information about what you will need to do to achieve QTS if you have qualified overseas please visit:

What is a DBS?

A DBS is the common term used to refer to a background check performed by the Disclosure and Barring Service. A clear ‘enhanced disclosure’ from the DBS 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. Applicants can use the DBS update service which can be signed up for at the time of requesting the DBS check. This is then used by employers to check a potential employee’s DBS certificate and reduces the need to complete the entire process and full cost each time. Visit Disclosure and Barring Service for information on services, your rights and details of the check.

What is the TA?

The TA is the Teaching Agency for England and Wales. The TA’s role includes improving standards in teaching and in the quality of learning. It’s particularly concerned with professional standards and acts as a regulator of teaching standards, also operating a disciplinary function. TA registration is required for all teachers with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

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.