Geography teacher laughing in a classroom in front of a map display.

Return to teaching from overseas

Are you a UK-trained teacher and UK citizen currently working abroad? Our children and young people need your international skills, experience and perspective.

If you’re thinking about coming home to teach, we want to help.

If you are a non-UK citizen interested in teaching or training to teach in England, please read our guidance for international teachers and trainees and register for our next online event to learn how we can support your journey to the UK.

Return to teaching success stories

Read inspiring case studies and access the slides from our recent webinar which included a live Q&A with a headteacher who has successfully made the move back home.

Return to teach in England: step by step

Our information pack contains lots more helpful advice and information about your journey home.

If you completed your initial teacher training in England, you should already have qualified teacher status (QTS). You can check your QTS on the Database of Qualified Teachers (DQT).

If you have been working as an unqualified teacher overseas, you should be aware that you’ll need QTS to teach in a maintained school in England.

Even where QTS is not a legal requirement, for example in academies and free schools, many schools use it to assess the quality of candidates for teaching jobs.

You will therefore strengthen your application for teaching jobs in England in all school types if you have QTS.

If you have experience working as a teacher, and a degree, you may be able to get QTS through the Assessment only (AO) route without any further training. Some training providers do AO overseas. You can check with providers directly to see if they provide overseas AO.

If you have fewer than 2 years of teaching experience, you will need to apply for a teacher training course leading to QTS. You may also be able to apply for fast-track QTS if you’ve trained as a teacher in certain countries.

75% of schools in England now advertise their teaching jobs on DfE’s free Teaching Vacancies service. You can set up a job alert to search jobs by:

  • working pattern (full or part-time)
  • location
  • subject
  • role
  • educational phase (primary, middle, secondary, 16-19)

Register with Teaching Vacancies and set up your job alerts.

Schools and heads in England recognise the value of your overseas experience. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also increasingly familiar and comfortable with remote recruitment and assessment.

Download our information pack for lots of helpful hints and tips about preparing your application and getting ready for an interview.

If you teach maths, physics or modern foreign languages, you’re eligible for personalised support from the Return to teaching support service.

You can get:

  • help and advice from a teaching adviser over phone and email
  • information on vacancies in your local area
  • tips on application and interview prep
  • advice on subject specialist training courses
  • online courses and webinars
  • membership of our closed Facebook group

Register with Get an adviser to get help from the Return to teaching support service, or call the Return to teaching helpline on 0800 085 0971 (charges may apply for calls made from overseas).

Strengthen your application and widen your net by:

  • networking with schools and colleagues in England (search #PrimaryRocks, #MFLTwitterati and #UKEdChat on Twitter)
  • collecting evidence of your performance and experience overseas (this can include lessons recorded on video, testimonials from your headteacher)
  • getting a police clearance certificate and/or a letter of good conduct
  • writing your supporting statement
  • arranging your references
  • reading up on teaching interview tips
  • checking pointers for remote interviewing

Browse the latest guidance:

You may wish to:

Learn what the UK’s new points-based immigration system means for teachers returning with spouses and other family members.

What can you expect from the Department for Education?

Continuous professional development (CPD) and competitive teaching salaries

DfE can support your CPD through National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) for middle and senior leadership, headship and executive leadership. We’ll be introducing improved NPQs from September 2021.

In July 2020, competitive new salary increases for teachers were agreed.

Supporting our critical workers in education

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital role of teachers, who continue to show extraordinary dedication and commitment. We at DfE are profoundly grateful for the hard work of everyone in the profession.

Read our COVID-19 guidance for school and teachers.

We’re taking action to address some of the common issues that teachers face in the classroom and have collaborated with schools to:

Teacher mental health is an important focus for DfE. Read our Teaching blog to learn more.

Contact us for help

Download our information pack.

Sign up for one of our online events to support returners.

Email us at

Join us on social media

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Talk to us

Live chat

Call us

0800 389 2500

Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 5:30pm

Get a teacher training adviser

An experienced teaching professional can help if you're ready to get into teaching or if you're returning to teaching and qualified to teach maths, physics or languages.

Get an adviser
Whether you're ready to apply, or simply exploring teaching as an option, we'll send you all the information you need