International Teachers and Trainees

International Teachers and Trainees

International Teachers and Trainees

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Teaching or training to teach in England

Your route to working or training as a teacher in England and the financial support you might get depends on:

  • your nationality or residency status
  • what you want to teach
  • your current level of qualification

How to apply for teaching jobs in England

Qualified teacher status (QTS)

In many schools funded by the UK government in England (‘state schools’), teachers must have ‘qualified teacher status’ (QTS).

International qualified teachers are allowed to work as a teacher in England for up to 4 years without QTS.

Learn more about the ‘4 year rule’.

However, you’ll strengthen your application for teaching jobs in the UK in both the state sector and private sector if you have QTS.

Schools which do not require QTS

Within the UK state school sector, academy schools and free schools do not require QTS.

Outside the state school sector, ‘private schools’ or ‘independent schools’ do not require QTSLearn more about teaching and training to teach in a private or independent school in the UK.

How to apply for QTS

Fast-track application for teachers who qualified in the following countries

If you are qualified to teach in one of these countries, you can apply to the UK’s Teaching Regulation Agency for QTS.

Your application may take up to 4 months to process, but you will not need to do any further teacher training to get QTS.

Assessment only QTS for teachers who qualified in other countries

Teachers from outside the EEA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA can apply for assessment only QTS.

Learn how to apply for QTS if you trained outside one of these countries.

Applying for the right visa

You should check to see if you need a visa to work in the UK. This will probably be a skilled worker visa, although you may be eligible for other visas.

Search and apply for teaching jobs

You can browse available teaching jobs in England using the UK government’s Teaching vacancies service.

Check if you’re eligible for extra support

If you qualified as a teacher of maths, physics, computer science, general science or modern foreign languages in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain or the USA, you are eligible for extra help from DfE, including:

  • guidance on work visas and permits
  • support finding a job in England
  • help settling in to the English education system
  • continuing professional development

Details of how to register with one of the Department for Education recruitment agencies will be available soon.

How to apply to train to teach in England

Funding

If you’re an EU national starting a teacher training course in the academic year 2021/22, you may get a bursary or scholarship, and student finance on a similar basis to domestic students if you have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, and meet the usual residence requirements.

What you’ll need

To apply for a place on a teacher training course in England, you need to have:

  • achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 in GCSE English and mathematics
  • a university degree

To teach children aged 3 to 11, you also need to have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 in a GCSE science subject.

For help understanding these UK qualifications and their international equivalents, call Get Into Teaching on Freephone 0800 389 2501. You may be able to get a free statement of comparability (this usually costs £49.50 plus VAT) from National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC), after you’ve submitted your application and if required by your training provider.

You will also need to:

If you don’t have a degree

If you don’t have a university degree, you can apply to study an undergraduate course in the which combines a degree with QTS. When you complete your studies, you’ll be able to apply for jobs as a teacher in England.

If you are a PhD student

International PhD students in Physics, Mathematics, English, Biology, Computer Science, Modern Languages, Chemistry, Geography, Classics (Latin/Greek) and History can apply for the UK government’s Researchers in Schools programme.

Applying for the right visa

You should check to see if you need a visa to study in the UK. This will probably be a student visa, although you may be eligible for other visas.

Get help

Contact the Department of Education to get help and support about training to teach by phone or online chat.

Research teacher training courses

Visit Find postgraduate teacher training to search for UK government-approved teacher training courses by location, teaching subject and age group.

Not all training providers can accept international candidates. You should contact your chosen teacher training providers directly, before you apply online, to get their advice about your eligibility and the application process.

How to apply for a visa which allows you to work or study in the UK

The UK introduced a points-based immigration system on 1 January 2021.

EU Settlement Scheme

If you are a citizen of a country inside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, and were living in the UK before 31 December 2020, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If your application is successful, you can continue to live, work and study in the UK after 30 June 2021. You will not need to use the points-based immigration system explained here.

Changes to the UK’s immigration system

The points-based immigration system applies to all non-UK citizens arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021, including those from the EEA or Switzerland.

Irish citizens

Irish citizens can continue to enter, work and study in the UK under the Commmon Travel Area as they did previously.

Choosing the correct visa for your teaching job or teacher training course

For teaching jobs in England, the main visa route is the ‘skilled worker visa‘.

For teacher training in England, the main routes are either the ‘student visa’ or the ‘skilled worker visa’.

Depending on your personal circumstances, you may be eligible for other visas which allow you to work or study in the UK.

Teacher training: skilled worker or student visa?

The type of visa you need will depend on whether you are on a salaried or unsalaried teacher training course. (See also our guidance on other visas you may be eligible for.)

A ‘salaried’ teacher training course means you are paid to work in a school while you learn to teach.

An ‘unsalaried’ teacher training course means you pay a fee to study as a teacher.

Learn more about salaried courses

  • salaried includes the School Direct salaried programme, the Teach First Leadership Development programme and postgraduate teaching apprenticeships

Learn more about unsalaried courses

  • unsalaried includes higher education institution programmes, school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) programmes and the School Direct fee-funded programme

Learn more about ways to train in England.

Applying for a student visa for an unsalaried teacher training course

For an unsalaried teacher training course, you will need a student visa. Student visas must be sponsored by a Home Office licensed student sponsor.

First, choose your teaching training provider using Find postgraduate teacher training.

Then, contact your chosen teacher training provider to check they are a Home Office licensed student sponsor – sponsors can help you apply for your visa.

You’ll be able to apply for your visa if you:

  • have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a Home Office licensed student sponsor teacher training provider
  • have a reference number, called a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS), which your training provider will give you
  • have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course
  • can speak, read, write, and understand English

Applying for a skilled worker visa for a salaried teacher training course, or to work as a teacher

For a salaried teacher training course or to work as a teacher, you will need a skilled worker visa. Skilled worker visas are sponsored by Home Office licensed employers.

For salaried teacher training

First, choose your teaching training provider using Find postgraduate teacher training.

Then, contact your chosen teacher training provider to ask about the school where you’ll be employed during your training. The school must be a Home Office licensed employer sponsor – sponsors can help you apply for your visa.

To work as a teacher

First, search for teaching jobs using Teaching Vacancies.

Before you apply for a teaching job, contact the school to check they are a Home Office licensed employer sponsor – sponsors can help you apply for your visa. You’ll be able to apply for your skilled worker visa if:

  • you have an offer for a salaried training place or a teaching job with a school that is a licensed Home Office employer sponsor
  • you can speak, read, write, and understand English
  • your role pays at least: i) £20,480; or ii) the relevant minimum rate for teachers in the region of England where you are working or training – whichever is higher. If you work part-time, pro-rata rates will apply as long the salary is at least £20,480 per annum

Check minimum rates for teachers by region in England.

Ways to train or work as a teacher in the UK without a skilled worker visa or a student visa

Graduate visa

If you are already an international student in the UK, you can apply for a graduate visa  on successful completion of your degree. This visa will be available from summer 2021 and you will need to have been sponsored by a Home Office licensed student sponsor to apply.

The graduate visa will allow you to study, work, or look for work in the UK for up to 2 years after completing your studies (3 years for PhD students), without a sponsor. This includes training as a teacher on a salaried or unsalaried initial teacher training course.

You will be able to switch from a graduate visa to another visa (such as the skilled worker visa without having to leave the UK, if you meet the requirements for the new visa.

The Youth Mobility Scheme visa

The Youth Mobility Scheme allows young people from Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea and Taiwan to come to the UK.

You must be 18 to 30 years old to apply. If you are successful, you’ll be able to study or work in the UK without a sponsor. This includes working as a teacher or training as a teacher via either a salaried or unsalaried initial teacher training course.

A Youth Mobility Scheme visa lasts up to 2 years. You may be able to switch from a Youth Mobility Scheme visa to another visa route (for example the skilled worker visa ) without having to leave the UK. You’ll need to meet the requirements for the other visa route.

Other visas

Depending on your personal circumstances, you may be able to work or study in the UK on alternative visas – for example, the Family visa(Link opens in new window) or UK Ancestry visa. Use this UK government service to check.