The United Kingdom offers numerous opportunities to international teachers to teach in their country, grow their careers and make a positive impact on students' lives. In fact, recent data shows that expat teachers now make up over 7% of the teaching workforce in the UK, contributing to the diversity and vibrancy of the education system.
An increasing number of schools are seeking to recruit talented and experienced teachers from abroad. However, starting a teaching career in the UK can seem daunting, with many questions about eligibility requirements, salaries, job hunt procedures, visas, and costs.
But if you are a Suraasa teacher, don’t worry. Firstly, you are best prepared to know the international teaching standards well in detail, and also have access to this information here.
While we have put together this guide for Suraasa teachers who want to pursue a career in the UK. Our goal is to provide information on all the critical aspects of the process. This will help you make informed decisions and start your teaching career with confidence. Let’s look into the process in detail:
Step 1: Meet Eligibility Requirements
Here are a few things to consider when applying for a teaching position in the UK:
You must have a teaching qualification that is recognised by the UK government. This usually means having a degree and a teaching certification, such as a PgCTL (Professional Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning), B.Ed (Bachelor of Education), PGCE, or others.
According to the latest rules, i.e., the 4-year Rule, qualified teachers from outside the UK can work as a teacher in England for up to 4 years without obtaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
This rule applies to qualified teachers who are trained and qualified in countries outside of the UK and who meet the other eligibility requirements for teaching in the UK, such as having a recognised teaching qualification and the right to work in the UK. To be eligible for the 4-year rule, you’ll need to have the following:
Qualified as a teacher in a country outside the UK
Successfully completed a course of teacher training recognised by the organisation that regulates teachers in the country in which you received your qualification
So yes, if you have already completed your qualification, then why wait. And if you are still studying, then complete your qualification fast to apply.
Pro-tip: If you are currently studying PgCTL, but did complete your B.Ed. in the past, you are eligible.
You can read more about this new 4-year exemption rule here.
(Please note that after 4 years, you will have to obtain QTS in order to continue teaching in England. To read more about how you can obtain QTS Status, read the FAQ section)
B.Criminal record check: You must be able to pass a criminal record check (usually a DBS check*) to demonstrate that you are suitable to work with children.
C. Right to work: You must have or obtain the right to work in the UK, if you are an international teacher. This means having a valid visa or immigration status is necessary once you have the job offer in hand. Check the section to know more about obtaining Skilled worker Visa.
D.Health requirements: You must be in good health and not have any medical conditions that would prevent you from teaching.
E.Teaching experience: Some schools may require you to have previous teaching experience in a K-12 school, preferably an international curricula school. Tuitions or online EdTechs may count, depending on the school. The amount of experience required may vary depending on the school and the subject you wish to teach. Be ready to obtain your experience letters from your employers once you get a job offer.
F.English language proficiency: Most schools in the UK require their teachers to have a high level of proficiency in the English language. a high standard of written and spoken English – for example, British Council B2 level or be able to demonstrate strong non-UK qualifications and experience.
G. Reference checks: Be ready to provide references from previous employers or from academic referees who can attest to your teaching abilities.
Pro Tip: If you have time to apply for the jobs in the UK, we recommend you to start accumulating teaching experience in British, Cambridge, American, and other international curricula schools in your area, to improve your chances when you apply. Although this won’t be a hindrance at all.
Please note that these requirements may differ depending on the specific school or education authority you are applying to. It is recommended that you check the requirements directly with the school you are interested in working with.
Step 2: Find The Perfect Teaching Job For You
A. Search for Jobs
We've got the perfect resource to help you search for the right teaching job in the UK. The official website for teaching vacancies (teaching-vacancies.service.gov.uk) lists all teaching jobs across schools in the UK. When researching teaching jobs on this site, consider the following tips:
Narrow your search by location, subject, or type of school to find relevant job openings
Read the job description and requirements carefully to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria
Look for information about the school and its values to see if it is a good fit for you
Check the deadline for applications and make sure you submit your application in a timely manner
By using this official website and these tips, you can start your job search with confidence and find the perfect teaching job in the UK.
B.Apply for Jobs
After researching and finalising your selection of jobs, the next step is to apply. We recommend applying to multiple jobs to increase your chances of being accepted into a school.
Once you have submitted your application, you may receive an email from the school. Respond promptly to these emails and ensure that your application is complete. Be proactive throughout the application process and keep track of the different deadlines, requirements, and next steps for each job opportunity you apply to.
Step 3: Prepare and Appear for Interviews
Once your application is selected, the next step is to prepare and appear for interviews.
The interview will be held virtually, and the interviewer would want to learn more about you, your personality, teaching skills and experience. When you receive an invitation for a job interview, it's important to be well prepared. Consider the following tips to make a positive impression:
Research the school and the role you are applying for
Prepare answers to common interview questions
Dress appropriately and arrive on time
Bring copies of your resume and any other relevant documents
Show your enthusiasm for the role and the school, and demonstrate your passion for teaching.
Research into the course curriculum of the subject and grades you’re applying for.
Most importantly, prepare well by brushing up the skills you’ve learnt in PgCTL programme, and especially the “Boosting Employability” module. (Psst…Here’s the secret..being a PgCTL learner, you have a significant advantage to crack the interviews :p)
By following these tips, you can prepare for your virtual job interview and make a strong impression on the hiring school.
Step 4: The Offer Letter
The next step is to wait for the offer letter from the school. This letter will outline the details of the job offer, including the salary package, school location, and other benefits.
If you are fortunate enough, you may even receive multiple job offers. It's important to carefully compare the salary packages and benefits and choose the best option for you. In some cases, you may even be able to negotiate the terms of the job offer to find the best package for you.
Once you have decided on the best job offer and accepted it, congratulations!
Step 5: Ask for a Sponsorship Offer from the Hiring School
In order to work in the UK as a teacher, you'll need to have a sponsorship offer from a school or educational institution you'll be working for.
A sponsorship offer means that the school or educational institution has agreed to sponsor your visa application, which is a crucial requirement for obtaining a skilled worker visa in the UK. It is a formal offer of employment and shows the UK government that you have a job offer in the UK and that the sponsor is responsible for ensuring that you meet the conditions of your visa.
This offer will be used as part of your visa application and will be assessed by the UK government as part of their decision-making process.
Asking a school in the UK for sponsorship can be done by contacting the school directly, either through their website or by reaching out to the HR department or recruitment team.
Step 6: Apply for a Skilled Workers’ Visa
The skilled worker visa process allows qualified international teachers to work in the UK. The process involves applying for a visa through the UK government's visa and immigration system and meeting certain requirements.
You'll be able to apply for your skilled worker visa if you have a sponsorship offer from your hiring school. Additionally, to apply for a skilled worker visa, you'll need to provide a range of documents as part of your application, including:
Proof of your qualifications and teacher training
Proof of your identity
Criminal background check
Evidence of financial stability and ability to support yourself during your time in the UK
English language proficiency test results
Other documents as required by the UK government
To know more about the skilled worker’s licence, please read here.
Step 7: Manage your Finances
When considering a teaching job in the UK as an international teacher, it is important to be aware of the initial setup costs involved in the recruitment process.
Before accepting your offer, you should consult the school if these costs would be incurred by the school or by you.
Let us understand what they are and how they may affect your finances.
Skilled Worker Visa: This fee ranges from £536 to £1,476 and is paid every 4 years.
Certificate of Sponsorship Fee: This is a one-time payment of £199 for each teacher sponsored and is only paid again if the visa needs to be renewed.
Immigration Skills Charge (ISC): This fee ranges from £364 to £1,000, and is paid each year of the teacher's visa.
First Month Expenses: Your first month in the UK can be an exciting but also expensive time. It's estimated that your first month's expenses can range from £3000 to £4000 and may include the cost of your flight (£1000-£1500), first month's rent (£800), local transportation (£300), and food (£600).
It is important to note that these are just estimates, and your actual expenses may vary depending on your location, the school and district you choose, the type of housing you choose, and your lifestyle.
By understanding the costs involved in the recruitment process, you can better prepare and manage your finances as an international teacher in the UK.
Let’s Talk Salaries
Salaries are a critical consideration for anyone considering a career as a teacher in the UK. Understanding the average salaries and variations based on factors such as experience, location, and type of school will help you make informed decisions about your career path.
A. Average Salaries for Teachers in the UK
The average salary for a teacher in the UK varies depending on a number of factors, including experience and location. According to recent data, the average salary for a newly qualified teacher (NQT) in the UK is around £27,000 to £29,000. However, experienced teachers can earn anywhere from £32,000 to £45,000 or more.
B. Variations in Salaries Based on Experience, Location, and Type of School
There are several factors that can impact your salary as a teacher in the UK, including experience, location, and the type of school you work in.
a)Experience: With more experience, you can expect to earn a higher salary. For example, an experienced teacher with 5-10 years of experience can expect to earn between £35,000 to £45,000.
b)Location: Salaries can also vary depending on the location you choose to work in. For example, teachers in London typically earn higher salaries than those in other regions of the UK due to the higher cost of living.
c) Type of School: The type of school you work in can also impact your salary. Teachers in independent schools generally earn higher salaries than those in state-funded schools, although this can vary depending on the school and the area.
It is important to research these factors and consider them when making decisions about your choosing the right teaching job in the UK.
In conclusion, the process of relocating to the UK as an international teacher can seem overwhelming at first. However, with the right resources and guidance, it can be a smooth and rewarding experience. From searching for a teaching job to preparing for the visa process and managing your finances, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure a successful transition.
We hope that the information provided in this guide has given you a better understanding of what to expect and how to prepare for your journey. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this guide, you will be able to confidently navigate the process and embark on this exciting new chapter in your life.
1. What are the available options for me as an international teacher in the UK once my 4-year term has ended?
Options for International Teachers after Completing 4 Years in the UK:
A. Apply for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS): From 1 February 2023, if you have a teaching qualification from the following countries and regions, you will be able to access a new service, called Apply for qualified teacher status in England: Australia, Canada, The EEA, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland, Ukraine, The USA.
In addition, if you have a subject specialism in languages, mathematics or science and a teaching qualification to teach 11 to 16 year olds from the following countries you will be able to apply for QTS: Ghana, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Zimbabwe.
B. Consider Opportunities in Other Countries: After completing four years of teaching in the UK, international teachers may also choose to explore other teaching opportunities in other countries.
2.What is a DBS Check?
As an international teacher who is relocating to the UK, you may be required to obtain a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. This check is a mandatory requirement for individuals who work in regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults. The purpose of the DBS check is to ensure that you have no prior criminal convictions or other information that would make you unsuitable for working with these groups.
The DBS check involves a search of criminal records held by the police and other government agencies, as well as other relevant information. It is important to note that the criteria for obtaining a DBS check may vary depending on the type of school and the role that you will be fulfilling.
3. Is it safe to upload my documents on the portal?
Our team is dedicated to providing you with legitimate references to employers, job sponsors, and portals that are sourced by primary and secondary research. In the above section, clicking the "Apply for Jobs" button takes you to a UK government sponsored portal displaying vacancies across hundreds of schools that are following the 4-year-rule.
We encourage you to do another round of check at your end as well, and then submit your information once you are thoroughly satisfied. Until date, we have not noticed any issues being reported. But we will be happy to update this FAQ, in case we get to know of any signs to be aware of. You can also let us know if you come across any such signs on any of the portals and we will verify before adding it here, to spread the word and help all the teachers in our community.
4. Post Selection, who will handle the Documentation and Paperwork process?
Once you have been selected for a teaching position in a UK school, the school will typically handle the majority of the documentation and paperwork process. They may also provide support through a dedicated human resources department or a designated point of contact This will include obtaining any necessary visas or work permits, arranging for criminal background checks, and processing any other required forms or documentation.
It is important to communicate clearly with the school and to understand their specific procedures and requirements. Overall, the school should be your main source of information and support throughout the paperwork and documentation process.
5. Can I download my Resume from the Surassa app/platform and apply for these jobs?
Yes, you can download the resume from the Suraasa portal and use it while uploading the documents in the application form. It is not mandatory and you are allowed to use your own CV built outside Suraasa as well. However, we would recommend you use the Suraasa resume as it has been built keeping international requirements in mind.
6. How do I know If I am eligible to apply for a certain teacher programme/position in the United Kingdom?
To determine if you are eligible to apply for a teacher programme/position, you will need to review the specific requirements and qualifications listed by the organisation in each of the job postings. These requirements may vary depending on the position.
We recommend you carefully review the eligibility requirements for any programme/position you are considering applying to and ensure that you meet all of the necessary qualifications.
If you have any questions about your eligibility, you can directly reach out to the customer support or helpline desk of the respective portals or contact the school for assistance. These teams are typically available to answer any questions or concerns you may have and can provide guidance and support throughout the process.
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Simran is a writer here at Suraasa and has formerly worked as a Teacher. She is passionate about learning and making a difference through her words.
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