Overseas Teachers

Entry requirements and procedures

Work permits and visas

You need a work permit to work in England, Scotland and Wales if you are not a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) and are not otherwise entitled to work in the UK.

A work permit is a document issued by the Border and Immigration Agency that allows you to work for a particular employer. Work permit applications can only be made by a UK based employer, i.e. a school or local authority would apply for a work permit for you.

A work permit that allows you to teach for four years in England as an unqualified teacher cannot be extended and you must gain qualified teacher status (QTS) during this time. The four-year period starts from the first day you teach in a mainstream school in England and includes breaks in service. If you don’t achieve QTS during this period, you cannot be employed as a teacher in a mainstream school in England. The DfE website provides further information on the four year rule.

If you wish to leave your school, your new employer must apply for a fresh work permit for you. Work permit arrangements do not allow direct employment with agencies.

Your existing qualifications

Regulations exist concerning who is allowed to teach in England. These regulations vary depending on the country where you gained your original qualification.

Teachers trained in the UK/EEA

If you qualified as a teacher in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America or Switzerland, you may be eligible for qualified teacher status (QTS) without further assessment.

Non-EEA nationals who have trained in an EEA member state will not automatically be recognised for QTS. The National College for teaching and Leadership (NCTL) maintains a register of qualified teachers in England. Teachers from the EEA and Switzerland should contact the GTCE to apply for QTS in England. The GTCE will assess your qualifications and, if approved, award QTS. When you have been awarded QTS and registered with the GTC, you are free to apply for any teaching post. Visit the NCTL to see which countries are included in the EEA.

Teachers trained outside the EEA

If you qualified as a teacher outside the EEA, you will be assessed against the standards for the award of QTS. The National Academic Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC) compares international qualifications against UK standards. They will check if your qualifications are equivalent to British Bachelor (Honours) degree standard and GCSE requirements. UK NARIC may ask you for:

  • a photocopy of your final qualification certificate/diploma
  • photocopies of your academic record/transcript/mark sheets
  • official translations into English, and
  • a covering letter written by you and enclosing full contact details.

Documents are not returned so ensure you send copies.

There is a small charge for individual assessment of your qualifications and a statement letter of comparability.

4myschools recommend that you refer to the Dfe web site at: http://www.education.gov.uk which will give you more detail.

Please register or send us an email at: mailto:register@4myschools.org