Male and female teacher talking in a staff room.

Ukrainian teachers and trainees coming to the UK

Overseas teachers enrich the lives of students and add value to schools and the wider community. The Department for Education (DfE)(opens in new window) wants to help Ukrainian refugees in any way we can, and we support and encourage schools and training providers to recruit Ukrainian teachers and teacher trainees.

We can help if you’re interested in teaching children aged 5 to 18. If you’d like to teach other age groups, try teaching in a university(opens in new window) or teaching in further education(opens in new window).

General information

If you’re coming to the UK from Ukraine, check what you need to do before you travel and what to do after you arrive(opens in new window).

Check the status of your visa

You already have the right to work or train as a teacher in England if you are in the UK on (one of the following):

You are also eligible to apply for financial support if you choose to train to teach.

If you’re not sure of the status of your visa, check:

If you are already in the UK under a different type of visa(opens in new window) (for example, a visitor or seasonal worker visa) you can apply to the Ukraine Extension Scheme(opens in new window).

Best visa for Ukrainians wanting to stay in the UK long-term

If you are interested in working as a teacher and applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK(opens in new window), you should consider a skilled worker visa(opens in new window).

Time spent in the UK under the skilled worker visa counts towards an application for permanent residence. You will still need to meet the eligibility requirements for this type of visa. You can apply for a skilled worker visa whichever type of visa you currently have allowing you to stay in the UK.

What you’ll need to pass safeguarding and criminal records checks

For safeguarding reasons, schools will assess your suitability to teach from a range of different sources, including:

  • 2 references from previous employers
  • your complete employment history
  • evidence of your professional standing in Ukraine – for example, documentation from the Ministry of Education and Science(opens in new window) showing you are qualified and have no sanctions against you as a teacher
  • a criminal record check

Teacher training providers will ask for:

  • evidence that applicants for teacher training have a bachelor’s degree from a university (non-UK or in the UK)
  • a criminal record check

You can apply to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine(opens in new window) for a criminal record check, which will be emailed to you. You can then contact the Ukrainian Embassy in the UK(opens in new window) for a translation of the criminal record check and a letter confirming its validity.

We understand it might not be possible to provide all this evidence. However, it’s helpful to show schools and training providers you have made every effort to do so. They can then reach a decision about your suitability, looking at the evidence available.

Help proving your professional qualification to training providers and employers

UK ENIC can give you a statement of comparability(opens in new window) showing how your academic and professional qualifications compare to their English equivalent. However, you will need scans or photographs of your original documents. If you are applying to train to teach, you can get your statement of comparability for free.

Teach in England

If you are already a qualified teacher, you will not need to retrain to get a job as a teacher in England. However, you will need:

Meeting the standard for written and spoken English

Most local authorities (also called ‘councils’) offer English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses as part of adult education.

If you’re in the UK under a Ukrainian visa scheme (Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, Ukraine Family Scheme or Ukraine Extension Scheme) and aged 19 or over, you are eligible for funding to study an ESOL course (as well as other educational or training courses).

Depending on your circumstances, your ESOL course will either be free or reduced in price. Find your local authority (‘council’)(opens in new window) and then search their website for English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses. Or, search for courses using the National Careers Service(opens in new window).

You can also learn English with a private provider. Well respected English language courses include:

Find out more about teaching in England if you trained overseas.

Apply for a teaching job

To find a teaching job, you must apply to individual schools (not DfE). Search for teaching jobs(opens in new window) by region, subject specialism and age group.

You could also consider teaching assistant(opens in new window) and education support roles. It can be helpful to gain experience of the English education system working in a teaching assistant or support role before you apply for teaching jobs. Teaching Vacancies(opens in new window) also lists these jobs.

For a short-term unpaid placement, you can request school experience in a primary or secondary school in England(opens in new window).

Most teaching vacancies are advertised in March, April or the first half of May, with jobs starting at the beginning of the school year in September. Set up a Teaching Vacancies(opens in new window) job alert to be updated about opportunities throughout the year.

Other teaching job options

Supply teachers(opens in new window) fill in when schools are temporarily short of staff. Register with a supply teacher agency for short-term roles in school.

Find your local authority (‘council’)(opens in new window) and then search their website for teaching roles.

Tips on applying

As part of your application, schools will usually ask for your:

  • educational and professional qualifications
  • employment history
  • personal statement
  • references

Your personal statement needs to cover your teaching approach, your experience and how you would contribute to the life of the school.

Get tips on writing a personal statement(opens in new window).

Some schools may ask for a curriculum vitae (CV) – get tips on writing a CV(opens in new window).

If you’re shortlisted, you’ll be invited for interview and asked to teach part of a class. If the school makes you a conditional offer, you’ll then have to pass safeguarding and criminal records checks.

Qualified teacher status

English teacher training leads to qualified teacher status (QTS)(opens in new window). However, if you’re a qualified teacher from outside the UK, you can work as a teacher in England for up to 4 years without QTS(opens in new window).

After that, QTS is a legal requirement to teach in many English schools, and considered desirable for teachers in the majority of schools in England.

Assessment only QTS

You can work in an English school and, alongside your job, apply for assessment only QTS. This means you apply to an English teacher training provider who will assess if you meet the standards for English QTS. DfE will make funding available for candidates who start assessment only courses at the start of the new school year in September 2022. Check assessment only training providers for more information about eligibility and funding.

Apply for QTS in England (from spring 2023)

From spring 2023, qualified teachers from Ukraine will be able to apply to the Teaching Regulation Agency for QTS (if they meet the criteria) without paying a fee to a training provider. Learn more about the way QTS will be awarded to teachers from overseas(opens in new window).

Salaries and benefits

Your salary as a teacher depends on whether you have QTS, and your level of experience. The salary for a teacher without QTS will generally start at £18,419 outside London. Find out more about salaries and benefits for teachers in England.

Train to teach in England

You have the right to apply to train to teach in England if you are resident in the UK under:

Deadlines for applications

Applications to train to teach in 2022/23 have now closed. Applications for 2023/24 open on 11 October 2022.

If you missed the deadline to apply this year, you could consider finding work as a teaching assistant(opens in new window) to gain valuable experience for your teacher training course.

Fees and financial support

Ukrainian refugees in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme visa(opens in new window), the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme(opens in new window) or the Ukraine Extension Scheme(opens in new window) have access to the same financial support as UK applicants. This means you will:

If you are not in the UK under one of these schemes, find out about switching to a different type of visa so you can train to teach. Not all visas will give you the right to apply for a student loan.

Teacher training in England takes 1 year of full-time study and leads to qualified teacher status (QTS)(opens in new window). At the end of your training you can apply for paid teaching jobs.

What you’ll need

To train to teach children aged 11 to 18 in secondary school, you’ll need:

  • a bachelor’s degree (this can be from a university outside the UK)
  • to meet a standard in English and maths equivalent to a grade 4 GCSE

To teach children aged 3 to 11 in primary school, you will also need to meet a standard in physics, chemistry or biology equivalent to a grade 4 GCSE.

A GCSE is an academic qualification awarded for exams in England, usually taken at age 16.

You will also need to:

  • have the health and physical capacity to train to teach
  • undergo safeguarding and criminal record checks carried out by your training provider or employer
  • show your training provider you meet their standards for maths and English (you’ll usually have to show you’ve passed an English language test)

Get help applying for teacher training

To get advice about training to teach, you can:

  • call +44 (0) 800 389 2500, Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 5:30pm (UK local time) – calls are free within the UK but will otherwise be charged at your standard rate
  • use the live chat service at the bottom of this page
  • sign up to get a dedicated adviser(opens in new window) – you’ll be asked for your phone number, email and location so a teacher training adviser can call you back in your time zone

Get help with international qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, your teacher training provider may want to see a statement of comparability(opens in new window) from UK ENIC. A statement of comparability proves that your school and university qualifications are the same standard as UK GCSEs and a UK undergraduate degree.

Call us on +44 (0) 800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability, once you’ve submitted your application, if your provider asks for this
  • advice about what to do if you do not have English, maths and science qualifications of grade 4 GCSE standard

How to find and apply for a teacher training course

Find postgraduate teacher training courses(opens in new window) that lead to QTS by region, subject and age group.

Then, you can apply for teacher training(opens in new window).

If you do not have a university degree

If you do not have a degree, you can apply to study a 3 to 4 year undergraduate course(opens in new window) in England which combines a teaching degree with QTS. When you complete your studies, you’ll be able to apply for jobs as a teacher in England.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs(opens in new window) has lots of helpful information about studying at an English university.

Further information

Find out more about training to be a teacher in England.

Find out what financial support is available to fund your training if you are in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme visa(opens in new window), the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme(opens in new window) or the Ukraine Extension Scheme(opens in new window).

Tips for schools and training providers

Help from DfE

DfE has made some funding available for assessment-only QTS programmes for Ukrainians. Contact teach.inengland@education.gov.uk for more information.

From spring 2023, Ukrainians will be able to apply to the Teaching Regulation Agency for QTS.

Visas and immigration

Most Ukrainian refugees will not need to be sponsored for a skilled worker or student visa. Find out more about visa schemes for Ukrainian refugees, allowing them to live, work and study in the UK.

Qualifications

Schools should assess the qualifications and experience of Ukrainian teachers in the same way as other overseas applicants, bearing in mind the exemption provided by the 4 year rule(opens in new window).

UK ENIC can provide a statement of comparability(opens in new window) to applicants showing how their academic and professional qualifications compare to the English equivalents.

Alternative roles in school

DfE encourages schools to employ Ukrainian teachers and prospective teachers as teaching assistants if a qualified teacher role isn’t available. Ukrainians can then be supported to gain QTS via assessment only QTS.

Safeguarding

Schools must adopt robust recruitment procedures preventing overseas applicants who are unsuitable to work with children from securing a role in school. Schools must be guided by the statutory guidance on safeguarding children and safer recruitment(opens in new window). They should also carry out additional checks related to international recruitment and training(opens in new window).

Given documentation may be difficult for refugees to provide, we expect schools to draw on a varying range of sources on a case by case basis, depending on the individual in question. It is good practice to carry out a risk assessment recording the evidence you have gathered to reach your decision.

Move to the UK if you’re coming from Ukraine(opens in new window).

Welcome guide for Ukrainians in the UK(opens in new window).

Ukrainians in the UK(opens in new window) – an online encyclopaedia.

The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB)(opens in new window) – including a list of Ukrainian community schools in the UK(opens in new window).

Contact

For help and further information, please email us at teach.inengland@education.gov.uk.

Teacher training advisers

Get free one-to-one support

An adviser can help you with your application, from tips on writing your personal statement, to choosing your referees.

Find out more about advisers