Overseas Trained Teachers

In order to teach in state maintained schools or most academies in England you need to have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which is the professional qualification for teachers in the UK.


Teachers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and USA


From 1 April 2012, teachers who qualified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America (USA) will be recognised as qualified teachers and awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England without being required to undertake any further training or assessment. You will still be required to satisfy any UK Border Agency requirements that may apply to you for the purposes of entering or remaining in the UK to work as a teacher.


You must apply to The TRA for the award of QTS before you can be recognised as a qualified teacher in the UK.  Once awarded you will not have to undertake any induction period.


Click here for the application form to apply for QTS


Teachers from the European Economic Area (EEA)


As an EEA or Swiss national, you have the right to live and work in the UK (known as the ‘right of residence’). However, if you are a national of Bulgaria or Romania, you must obtain permission in order to work here.


European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who are recognised as qualified school teachers in another EEA member state may apply for QTS in England under the terms of Council Directive 2005/36/EC without the need to undertake further teacher training in England. You need to make an application for QTS to the Teaching Agency. You can do this by downloading the application form from the link below:


Click here for the application form to apply for QTS


Overseas-trained teachers from outside the EEA


This information is for people who have qualified as teachers in a country outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, having successfully completed a course of initial teacher training which is recognised by the relevant authorities in their home countries.


You are allowed to teach in state maintained schools and non-maintained special schools in England as unqualified teachers for four calendar years. However, you are not permitted to teach in pupil referral units (PRUs) until you have been awarded QTS.  This rule applies even if you do not require Home Office permission to work or remain in the UK.


It is strongly recommended that you undertake the following action either before or shortly after arrival in the UK:


  • Arrange a check with UK NARIC to establish whether your home qualifications are equivalent to a UK first degree and also to a GCSE grade ‘C’ in maths and English.
  • You arrange to undertake an employment-based training course leading to QTS by contacting the Teaching Agency or telephoning the Teaching Information Line on: 0800 389 2500


In order to teach after four years, you must have been awarded QTS. If you have been awarded QTS by the end of the four year period you become a qualified teacher and are allowed to continue teaching subject to UK Border Agency permission if required under the terms of your UK entry.


It is unlawful for you to continue teaching in state maintained schools and non-maintained special schools in England beyond four years if you have not been awarded QTS.


Right to Work in the UK – Visas


You are able to enter and work in the UK if you have proof of ancestry connections in the UK.  However, if not you will need to apply for a visa under the new points based immigration system.  The visas most likely to apply to teachers are:


  • Tier 1 Highly Skilled Worker – you do not need a job offer in place in the UK
  • Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Worker – for skilled workers with a job offer and being sponsored by an employer in the UK
  • Tier 4 Students – eligible for part-time work (20 hours a week)


For further information please click on the UK Border Agency link below.


Further information for all Overseas Trained Teachers can be found on the following links:


Click here for the Department of Education. This is the main site for you to find a range of information and resources especially for UK schools.


Click here for the Home Office UK Border Agency)


Click here for UK NARIC

Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world.


Nelson Mandela