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 

Register now – and your details will be shared with the Department’s delivery partners, which are recruiting and supporting overseas teachers on this programme. They'll contact you with further information about the programme. 

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 're trained to teach in the European Economic Area (EEA), 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 teachers - securing a UK visa

If you're from outside the EEA, you may require a UK visa that will be allocated under the points based immigration system. Migrants must pass a points assessment before they are given permission to enter or remain in the UK.

The system has four tiers, which are different routes to employment, training or studying in the UK. Below are the most relevant to the teacher workforce:

  • Tier 2: 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).
  • 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).

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

Information for qualified teachers from the European Economic Area (EEA)

European teachers and student teachers are highly valued for their contribution to our children’s education. We would like to reassure you that there will be no immediate changes in the circumstances of European citizens living, studying or working in the UK. The UK is still a member of the EU and remains bound by EU law until the terms of our exit have been determined. For more information, visit 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 graduate page, which provides more information about the different teacher training courses available. You might also like to consider the Maths and Physics Chairs Programme or Teach First