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Migrate to the UK as a teacher: Step-by-step guide

You are a teacher and want a better life. Have you considered the UK? It’s a perfect destination, and the country needs teachers. You just need to know how to immigrate to the UK as a teacher to get the life you deserve. You will find the answers to all of your questions here.

Who is qualified to work as a teacher in the UK?

The eligibility principles to immigrate to the UK as a teacher depend on the immigration path you choose and your conditions. But the below options are required for most of the ways you choose:

Being a qualified teacher,

You must be a teacher in your home country and become a teacher in the UK. There are procedures to become a teacher in the UK, and you must pass one of them to get the certificate.

The below section explains the steps to go through and get the certificates.

Have work experience.

You must be a qualified teacher in your home country or abroad and have work experience. You must be registered in a school or education center as a teacher, and you must have proof of it.

Remember that UK officials won’t accept a management position in a school, and you must be a classroom teacher. The subject you have taught must be clear, and it doesn’t matter that it is not in English. 

Have a clean record certificate.

You must submit a clean record certificate from your home country or the country you have lived for the past year. It proves that you are no threat to the British people and the country.

A clean record certificate is part of the visa supporting documents. Also, you might have to present the certificate during the stages to become a licensed teacher in the UK.

a teacher

Have the QTS to teach in the UK

One of the procedures to become a teacher in the UK is to receive the QTS certificate. Most of UK schools require it even if the school can hire foreign teachers without it.

But it’s not the only way to become a teacher in the UK, and there are other ways. Look at the below sections to get familiar with them.

Appropriate visa to enter the UK

When you get the certificates and meet the eligibility principles, you must apply for a Uk visa to enter the country. A skilled worker visa is the most common one that you can apply for, but you need a job offer for it.

There are other visa options that let you enter the UK and work as a teacher. But you must be qualified for it. See the below section to know which one is right by your conditions.

How to immigrate to the UK as a teacher?

The immigration stages you must follow to move to the UK as a teacher are explained here:

What is QTS to teach in the UK?

QTS, or Qualified teacher status, is a legal requirement for teachers who want to teach in UK schools. So many schools do not hire teachers without a QTS and the ones that have teachers without it are:

  • academies,
  • free schools,
  • private schools.
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Even if the law doesn’t require you to have a QTS, the schools have this requirement to evaluate candidates for a teaching position.

Who is exempt from QTS?

If you are among the qualified teachers, you can work in the UK for up to 4 years without the QTS. It is true even in schools that QTS is needed.

If you are eligible to work with the QTS, you can use the ‘4-year rule”.

You must have the below items to be eligible for the ‘4-year rule:

  • Eligible as a teacher outside the UK.
  • Completing a course of teacher training. It must be recognized by the responsible organization that authorizes teachers in that country.

Remember that the ‘4-year rule” doesn’t apply in these situations;

  • pupil referral units (PRUs),
  • and alternative provision academies; the QTS is required for the above items from the beginning of your work.

Eligibility criteria for QTS in England

From 1 February 2023, if you have a teaching qualification from the following countries and regions, you will be able to use our new service to check if you meet the requirements and apply for QTS 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 one of the following 7 countries, you will be able to use the service to check if you meet the requirements and apply for QTS in England:

  • Ghana
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Nigeria
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

When you apply for QTS in England you do not need to:

  • Pay a fee to a training provider
  • undergo any further training
  • visit the UK

How to apply for qualified teacher status QTS?

Qualified teacher status (QTS) is a legal requirement to teach in many English schools, and most schools prefer their teachers to have it.

If you apply for QTS we’ll assess the teacher training and experience you gained outside of England to decide whether you’re qualified to teach in English schools.

Having QTS does not guarantee you a job or give you the right to work in England. You’ll still need to apply for a teaching job separately and have the correct visa or status. Follow the following steps to apply

  • Visit the UK official government website HERE
  • Select No, I need to check if I can apply
  • Select the country you are currently recognized as a teacher.
  • Choose YES, if you have a teaching qualification that was completed in your country.
  • Select Yes, if you have a university degree in your country.
  • You must be qualified to teach children aged 11-16 to be eligible for QTS, choose YES
  • Choose the number of years or months you have been working as a teacher
  • To teach in England, your teaching record must have no sanctions, restrictions, penalties, or instances of misconduct, select NO
  • You will be redirected to the application page. Read the eligibility criteria again and click on Apply for QTS

How should you apply for QTS as an unqualified teacher?

You must apply to one of the UK government’s approved assessment-only teacher training providers. You don’t have to visit the UK to pass the test or get the training.

The cost of assessment ranges from £1,500 to £4,000. It depends on the provider, but you have to pay a higher fee if you are outside of the UK.

An individual will visit you while teaching in class and assess your performance and work. You can find the list of teacher training providers offering assessment-only QTS to international teachers outside the UK from this link.

When you find the assessment provider, you must contact them to make the arrangements;

  • Whether they accept international applications for assessment only QTS
  • If they can visit you in your home country to assess your teaching. If your language is not English, do they have a person to assess you?
  • Whether they approve your eligibility for assessment.
  • If there are other requirements for assessment or not.

Subjects with a shortage of teachers

Does your teaching qualification certificate or university degree certificate state that you’re qualified to teach one of the following subjects?

One of your certificates must specifically mention one of these subjects as shown on the list.

  • Maths
  • Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Russian
  • Spanish
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The UK cannot accept similar or related subjects, for example, economics instead of maths, agricultural science instead of biology, or engineering instead of physics.

You got your degree from a non-UK university.

If you have received your education and degree from a non-UK university, you might have to get a ‘statement of comparability. It shows that your degree is equivalent to a UK degree.

You can get help from the Department for Education website or just contact them. You have to have teaching experience to be eligible for this way of moving to the UK as a teacher.

The teaching experience must meet the eligibility conditions;

  • It must hold teaching experience and not other responsibilities.
  • Must have been in two schools.
  • You must have taught people of different ages.
  • You must be familiar with different procedures in
    • teaching,
    • learning
    • and school management

Where do you have to get the teaching experience?

It can be in any type of school, like:

  • international schools,
  • teaching the International Baccalaureate,
  • state-maintained school

What if you have taught a non-English course?

It’s fine, and you are still eligible if you meet the other conditions. But you must provide English language fluency to get accepted.

How to find Teaching jobs in the UK with Visa Sponsorship

Private and public schools in the United Kingdom (UK) are in dire need of teachers, and the majority of institutions are relying on foreign labor to fill the gaps.

How to find teaching jobs with visa sponsorship in the UK

Below are some websites that advertise public and private teaching jobs with visa sponsorship in the United Kingdom

1. CareerJet

Careerjet is a job search engine designed to make the process of finding a job on the internet easier for the user. It maps the huge selection of job offerings available on the internet in one extensive database by referencing job listings originating from job boards, recruitment agency websites, and large specialist recruitment sites.

Using a fast and straightforward interface, users can query this database and save themselves the trouble of visiting each site individually. The job offerings themselves are not hosted by Careerjet and users are always redirected to the original job listing. Essentially, Careerjet acts as a traffic driver to those sites.

Apply HERE

2. Indeed

Indeed is the #1 job site in the world with over 300M unique visitors every month. Indeed strives to put job seekers first, giving them free access to search for jobs, post resumes, and research companies. Every day, we connect millions of people to new opportunities.

Apply HERE

3. GOV.UK

GOV.UK is managed by Government Digital Service (GDS) on behalf of the Crown. GDS is part of the Cabinet Office and will be referred to as ‘we’ from now on.

You agree to use GOV.UK only for lawful purposes. You must also use it in a way that does not infringe the rights of, or restrict or inhibit the use and enjoyment of, this site by anyone else. This is where most government jobs are found relating to job opportunities in the UK

Apply HERE

4. Reed.co.uk

Founded in 1995, Reed.co.uk was the first recruitment website offered by a recruitment agency in the UK. Since then, Reed.co.uk has grown to become one of the UK’s leading careers marketplaces.

Reed.co.uk features vacancies from over 30,000 recruiters a year*, including private and public sector employers and leading recruitment agencies and consultants.

Reed Courses works with around 1,000 respected learning providers to advertise more than 70,000 courses on a wide range of subjects; from accounting and HR, right through to fitness and cooking.**

Apply HERE

Pass a teacher training course in England.

Every non-UK citizen can apply to get training to teach in the UK. UK visa and immigration website has a full guide for this part that you can visit from this link.

They have information for eligibility, requirements, and the application process at every stage that you must follow to get training to teach in the UK.

How to become a teacher in the UK as an international student?

If you are in the UK under a Tier 4 student visa, you can apply for a graduate visa after completing your education and receiving your certificate.

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The graduate visa permits you to work in the UK for two years or look for a job. You don’t have to have a sponsor in this period. After that, you can apply for a skilled worker visa and stay in the UK as long as your employment contract is valid. You can extend it as long as you have an employment contract with a UK employer.

You could also directly apply for a skilled worker visa if you get a job offer after graduation. Visit the Visa Library article from the right sidebar to learn about UK work visas or skilled worker visas.

Teacher’s salary in the UK

The average salary of a teacher in the UK varies and depends on various elements:

  • School
  • Location
  • Work experience
  • Language proficiency
  • Educational certificate
  • Subject you teach
  • Qualifications
  • Etc.

The above items are just some of the influencing factors. There are more. But we mention the average salary of teachers in the UK here.

According to Prospects, the average salary of a teacher in England and Wales who just begins work as a class teacher is £28,000 to £34,502. The salary is up to the location and is a bit higher in London and nearby areas.

Teachers’ salary in Ireland is about £27,498, while the minimum salary is £24,137. You can earn more by developing your skills, knowledge, and performance in the classroom.

Prospect indicates that the salary of a qualified teacher who has NGT is higher and can earn about £28,000 to £38,810.

Your salary goes up from £29,344 to £40,083 in London. The salary is £33,729 to £42,336 in Scotland and £24,137 to £41,094 in Northern Ireland.

The income is completely different for unqualified teachers. They are the teachers who don’t have QTS. Their income ranges from £19,340 to £30,172 in England and Wales. It is different in London, and you get higher.

Do you need IELTS to work in the UK as a teacher?

You need English language fluency and probably a certificate to work as a teacher in the UK. You have to pass the tests in English and persuade the English employer to hire you. Also, the language taught in the schools is in English.

Whether you need IELTS or not is up to your conditions. Bear in mind that you need grade 4 in GCSE English language when you apply for QTS. Learning and studying English is a must, and you must get fluent like a native speaker. An IELTS certificate could help persuade the employer to hire you and is a good indicator that you are fluent in English, but you can also take other tests.

Working in the UK as a teacher benefits

The UK is one of the first options that come to mind regarding immigration and working. The high standards of living and robust economy make it a perfect destination. The following benefits or advantages can make you determined in your choice:

Education and healthcare are free in the UK.

Every UK citizen has access to free healthcare and education to a certain level. You won’t have to pay a lot for emergencies, and there is nothing to worry about for your medical costs.

Your children will have access to a free high-standard education system and to the best schools. Name the best universities in the world, and the UK universities come to the top of the list; Cambridge and Oxford.

Europe is in the doorway.

A short flight and you can enter the 26 European countries in a few hours. Get a taxi to Heathrow Airport, take a nap and wake up in every European country where you want to spend your holiday. The good point is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on your air trip and it’s friendly cost and affordable.

Every type of climate and country you want is accessible, from sunny Spain to the snowy Alps in Sweden.

A huge job market awaits you.

So many large companies are located in the UK, and many of the international companies have a branch there. The UK always needs skilled workers and is paving the way to bring them to the country.

Last year, the UK introduced a job seeker visa that allows international graduates to stay in the country after graduation without getting a job offer and having enough funds to cover their expenses. They can work in any general job and cover their expenses for two years until they find a job related to their expertise and get a skilled worker visa.

Also, if you have studied in the top 50 universities in the Qsranking, you can get a visa and enter the UK to look for a job.

Tourist attractions never end in the UK.

This is one of the top tourist attractions in the world that brings millions of visitors every year. The UK satisfies every type of people in terms of tourist attractions. From museums, art galleries, natural wonders, and shopping places, you will never get bored there. You just need a lifetime to explore London and enjoy its beauty.

Friendly and nice people to live in.

The UK welcomes immigrants from around the world, and you can find people from every culture. This versatile atmosphere has changed the country, and the British are nice to foreigners. You don’t feel that you’re an outsider. Also, you can find someone from your home country so as not to feel alone.

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