Preparing for life inside a UK classroom as an International Teacher


Are you a Grad, Primary or High School teacher looking to make the move to teach in the UK?

Teaching in the UK provides an abundance of opportunities in a top quality education system with plenty of career progression.

Your skills are also very much in demand, and there are openings in most towns and cities across the nation, meaning you’re not bound to certain geographic locations.

Add in the fact that the British curriculum is designed to mirror many others from around the world and you should find that you can pick it up reasonably quickly.

If you plan to take a primary school teaching role, you’ll need knowledge of the entire curriculum across all subjects, while teaching at secondary level provides options to be subject specific.

Expect a mix of marking, lesson preparation and assessments in your role, alongside various extracurricular activities and administrative duties in your role.

Plan your future

Experience in the UK education system is widely respected around the world and will stand you in good stead for teaching roles back home or elsewhere in the future.

There’s also ample opportunity for quick career progression if you’re willing to take on additional roles and responsibilities.

Having an idea of what you’d like to do and also what you’re prepared to do, before you move overseas to teach is therefore essential.

You’ll also have plenty of exposure to different behaviour management techniques and other means of fostering an effective classroom environment.

Think qualifications!

If you’re an overseas trained teacher, you’ll need to show proof of your teaching certification and you’ll need to apply for roles.

The good news is that if you’re a fully qualified teacher in the USA, Canada, New Zealand or Australia, as well as several other countries, applying for Qualified Teacher Status is a straight-forward process.

On top of that, you’ll need a Visa which enables you to work in the UK – with several different options out there, it’s up to you to ensure you apply for the correct one.

The most up-to-date information can be found on the UK Border Agency website, which details the range of visas available.

You’ll also want to prepare your CV ahead of a move, ensuring that it lists all relevant skills and experience, especially if you’ve spent a prolonged period teaching in your home country.

Don’t forget a DBS check

It’s also your responsibility to get DBS checked (British Police Clearance) ahead of taking a role in the UK education system – without it you won’t be able to start work.

For those working with children, the check is mandatory and if you arrive in the UK without one it may prevent you from starting work for up to six weeks.

Note that if you have a valid check from your home country, you’ll be able to work while the British DBS check is carried out.

Get planning

Knowing how to deliver lessons in fun and engaging ways is key to helping pupils fulfil their attention, which means plenty of planning is required.

You can expect the UK classroom environment to be testing and for certain techniques to be more successful than others, depending on the children involved.

Ultimately, finding out what works and what doesn’t is part of the learning process, meaning you can expect your experience to be highly rewarding in any school.