Overseas qualified teachers

If you're from overseas and want to teach in a world-class education system with great opportunities for career progression, teaching in England could be for you. To make the transition easier, there’s plenty of support - on this page we provide some general advice, alongside information about two programmes delivered by the Department for Education for overseas qualified teachers. 

Find out more information on: 

STEM International Teacher Recruitment Programme for maths and physics teachers

If you’re a qualified maths or physics teacher from Australia, Canada, New Zealand or USA, there’s support available to teach in England through the Department for Education’s STEM International Teacher Recruitment Programme. This includes:

  • guidance on work visas and permits
  • matching you with schools with vacancies
  • acclimatisation support package and continuing professional development to assist your learning and transition into teaching in England 

The Department for Education is working with specialist recruitment agencies who will support the overseas teachers being placed into English schools through this programme. To register your interest, please select the recruitment agency of your choice from the list below. We recommend that you look at all four agencies as they offer varying services, including where in England you might teach.

Spain's Visiting Teachers Programme for teachers who qualified in Spain

If you qualified as a teacher in Spain, you may be eligible to apply for Spain’s Visiting Teachers Programme. Run jointly by the Department for Education and Spain’s Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, this programme supports teachers from Spain to teach modern foreign languages in schools across England. For teachers recruited through the programme, an acclimatisation support package is provided to assist in your transition to teaching in England. 

For further information, visit the Spanish Education Office (UK) website or email.

Advice for overseas trained teachers

Gaining qualified teacher status 

To be a qualified teacher in England, you'll need to gain qualified teacher status (QTS). You may be able to gain QTS in England without any further training or assessment if you trained to teach in the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA; visit GOV.UK to find out more. Although not mandatory for all schools, evidence shows that most schools hire teachers who hold QTS, or are working towards QTS.

Non-EEA/Swiss teachers - securing a UK visa

If you're from outside the EEA or Switzerland, you may require a UK visa, which will be granted under the UK’s points based immigration system.

The system has different routes (known as tiers) to employment, training or studying in the UK. Below are the most relevant to the teacher workforce:

  • Tier 2 (General): This applies to skilled workers who are offered sponsorship by an employer to fill gaps in the UK labour force (previously the work permit route) where there is no suitable or available resident worker.
  • Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme): This applies to individuals on a youth mobility scheme (aged 18-30) who are allowed to work in the UK for a maximum period of 2 years with no option to renew (a teacher wishing to extend their stay would have to leave the country and apply for a Tier 2 visa). Details of this can be found here

For further details on visa eligibility, fees and the application process, visit the Home Office guidance on GOV.UK.  

EEA/Swiss teachers and Brexit

European teachers and student teachers are highly valued for their contribution to our children’s education. For more information on how the UK’s exit from the EU might affect you, please visit Advice for schools on how to prepare for Brexit, information for EU citizens living in the United Kingdom and GOV.UK

Helpful resources

If you are looking to teach in England in the near future, you may find the following resources useful:

If you’re an overseas graduate seeking to qualify to teach in England, you might be interested in our Overseas graduates page. You might also like to consider the Maths and Physics Chairs Programme or Teach First