Why should you take your teaching career to the UK?


The United Kingdom is known for many things: Pork pies, Big Ben and the Beatles, to name just a few. And while the education sector may not be the first thing you think of when the UK comes to mind, it’s a significant drawcard for overseas teachers looking to experience a whole new world of opportunities. 

With its favourable conditions for foreign teachers, an abundance of teaching roles and liveable locations from London and Liverpool to Brighton and Birmingham, the UK is an extremely attractive option for teachers looking to progress their career in an international setting. Here’s why:

Abundance of opportunities

With 457,300 full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers in UK state-funded schools as of November 2016 – an increase of 17,300 since 2011 – the nation has an ongoing need for qualified teachers. Despite this high number of employed staff, there were still 920 vacancies for full-time permanent teachers in state-funded schools as of November 2016. In addition, 3,280 full-time posts were temporarily filled by contract teachers, who took up positions for anywhere from a term to a year.

This demand for teachers isn’t limited to those who trained in the UK. As of 2015, one in six new teachers qualified overseas, with a £10 million overseas recruitment campaign proposed last year to hire an additional 600 foreign teachers. With an upwards trend in pupil numbers, economic upswing and a shrinking graduate pool of teachers, the Department for Education deemed it necessary to supplement its teacher supply with overseas nationals. Maths and science teachers are particularly sought after, with physics teachers in demand all over the country. Whether you’re a primary or secondary teacher, looking for permanent, part-time or supply work, there’s bound to be a vacancy here to suit. 

Country landscapes to stunning cities

London is a huge drawcard for many people considering an international move, but there’s more to the UK than the bright lights of the big city. Why not try York, the winner of the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live in Britain? Along with its period buildings and vast surrounding countryside, you’ll also discover an emerging metropolis with not only job opportunities but also a fantastic bar and dining scene. Meanwhile, Nottingham – a city which welcomes international students in droves – has a diverse population, thriving arts scene and vibrant nightlife. If nature appeals, try Sheffield, which boasts 17 local nature reserves – perfect for exploring between term time.

If, however, the big smoke is beckoning, you can’t do better than London for a city experience. Consistently ranked as one of the best cities in the world, London offers everything from world-leading theatre and music events through to cutting-edge gastronomy and sporting spectaculars. Add in its countless parks, an abundance of free activities and culture at every turn, and you’ve got a truly remarkable place to live and work. And with nearly a third of London secondary schools having teacher vacancies, and London pupils experience achieving significantly higher than the national average, it’s clear there are plenty of opportunities to make your mark and contribute to the city’s education system. 

Spend school holidays travelling

The UK is a stone’s throw from some of the most exciting holiday destinations in the world, from the bustling, party-friendly havens of Ibiza, Berlin and Prague through to the history hot spots of Rome, Athens and Krakow. Weekend mini-breaks are common amongst teachers in London, as are longer holidays in between terms. If you’re looking for a base from which to explore Europe and beyond, the UK is a fantastic option. 

Legal requirements to teach in the UK

Overseas teachers looking to move to and work in the UK have several avenues to help get them into teaching. For graduates outside of the European Economic Area, a visa may be required to legally work in the UK. Overseas trained teachers need to possess a teaching certification, submit an application for their chosen subject area and then apply for Qualified Teacher Status. You’ll also need to have an up-to-date DBS check. 

At Tradewind Recruitment, we recruit teachers and support staff from within the UK, as well as New Zealand, Canada and Australia. We make it easy for you to get started and have a range of opportunities available for teachers at all levels and in every subject area. Register with us today to take the next step.