Doing the job in London lets you try a different education system and you get to experience other schools and learning environments. And no teacher has ever complained about the holidays!

The market
Teaching has definitely been hit by the recession, and schools have been tightening their budgets. Theyare making sure they get value for money when they’re hiring, so the recruitment process is tough. 

But Richard Knell, manager at Hays Education recruiters, says despite that: “Teachers from overseas still remain an attractive option for schools when they are recruiting, providing they can be flexible and adapt to the UK curriculum.”

As it’s so multicultural and densely populated in London, and because there are so many different kinds of schools, it shouldn’t be too difficult for people moving from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to find work if they’ve got the right qualifications and fit the role.

You’ll be eligible to teach in the UK as long as you have a recognised teaching qualification from home. 

Overseas Trained Teachers (OTTs) need to register with a central governing body, which is called the General Teaching Council (GTC). 

The GTC costs £36.50 to join, but all you need to do is fill in a form when you register with an agency.

As an OTT, you’re allowed to teach in the UK for a maximum of four years before you’ll need to have obtained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). If you have no relevant qualifications, schools do employ cover supervisors to watch over
a class when teachers are away. It’s a good way to get a taster of the teaching business.

What employers are looking for
In the current climate, they’re looking for people who can cope under pressure and still raise standards of teaching.

Things have been toughening up for anyone trying to get jobs in teaching because schools are looking for teachers who are value for money as well as “best fit”, says Rob Harvey, director of recruitment firm Engage Education. 

To stand out, employers want to know you’ve got a good work ethic, patience, flexibility as well as strong behaviour management skills, good knowledge of the UK curriculum and the ability to build relationships fast and the knack to inspire and engage young people. 

Supply or long-term

Short-term positions, like sickness or maternity cover, are the easiest to get right now. But these can lead to full-time permanent roles. 

It comes down to personal choice. If you’d like the chance to take short trips and don’t want to be tied down, supply teaching is probably for you. 

But if you’d rather work full-time and earn quickly to fund trips during the holidays, take a permanent role.

Finding work
There are plenty of specialist recruitment firm, like Teach Anywhere (, which specialise in worldwide teacher recruitment.

Jobs are advertised on sites like and

Events like Engage Education’s iday ( where people on the company’s books looking for jobs can turn up and meet heads who are hiring. Plus travel costs, including airfares, are paid for.

Richard Knell, manager at recruiter Hays Education, gives his tips on getting ahead in teaching in the UK.

Don’t join too many agencies when you arrive. Being clear about where you want to be long-term, and investing time to build a relationship with your recruiter will really help.

Ensure your CV is up to date with previous teaching experience and be sure it shows how the experience you have overseas corresponds to the UK. 

Move over with a full written reference from a previous employer or teaching placement.

Make sure you do some research before joining agencies and establish the location of the schools each agency works with (you don’t want to be travelling hours each way to schools in the middle of nowhere).

It’s essential to do some research on the UK curriculum and have some lesson plans prepared before working as a supply teacher.

Don’t let a bad day get you down – the schools in London vary so much that you are bound to have some, but stay positive.

Make every effort to go out of your way to impress your employers when working in schools as they like continuity and will ask for you back in person if you get off on the right foot.

Try to network with as many fellow overseas teachers as possible – there is a large community who all spend a lot of time together. This is a great way overcome the differences of teaching in the UK quickly.

SALARY In central London you can be earning from £27,000 and in the rest of England and Wales salaries begin at around £21,500.Supply teacher rates vary but they can earn around £100-£125 a day.

TRAINING You’ll need
a qualification that’s recognised in the UK, like a Batchelors or Masters in Education.

LOCATION Across London and the rest of the UK.

PACKAGE Tons more holiday than anyone else. Roll on lie-ins.


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