For teachers arriving in London from overseas, there is a full range of vacancies available from agency supply teaching to permanent vacancies. Teaching jobs in the UK are usually described as being Long Term, Day to Day (or Supply) or Permanent. The notes below describe what these terms really mean for you. Note that the UK Visa you hold will to some extent affect the types of positions you can choose from. Any restrictions are also mentioned in the notes below.
Long Term Teaching Jobs UK
From 5 weeks to a full term or longer, long-term teaching positions usually provide all the benefits of a full time staff member and the stability of work 5 days a week. As a long-term teacher you will have full classroom responsibilities including creating lesson plans, student assessments, liaising with parents and educational bodies, and you may also be involved in professional development.
Day-to-Day Supply Teaching Jobs UK
Day-to-day supply is an excellent way to kick-start your teaching career in London. This type of employment is common and popular for newly arrived teachers in the UK.
The benefits of Day-to-Day supply to a teacher from overseas:
You will be introduced to a variety of schools and teaching situations and you'll gain an insight into the different ways schools are run.
Teachers arriving outside of the normal school terms, or who require the flexibility of working when they like often prefer this option.
You can work whenever and wherever you like.
Often daily placements can turn into longer-term assignments, which is one of the benefits of day-to-day teaching. If you have enjoyed a particular day placement be sure to let your UK teaching agency know for future work possibilities. Once working, always give your UK teaching recruitment consultant as much feedback as possible!
Note that the key to day-to-day supply work is keeping in touch with your teaching recruitment agency’s office. Often positions are filled on the evening prior to, or the morning of, the day a teacher is required. You will likely be asked to contact your agency’s office about 4pm to 6pm each afternoon and then in between 7am to 9am each morning to see what’s on for that day, or the next and let them know if you are available. It is your responsibility to be prepared for work early and ensure you can access travel information promptly!
Permanent Teaching Jobs UK
Permanent positions are for those interested in securing a permanent teaching job or for those overseas teachers who require Sponsored Work Permits. In this case a school will interview you in the normal way but when you accept the position you will become a full-time employee of the school. Again, these positions are for teachers who require the security of constant work and a regular income.
Permanent teaching positions are ongoing and benefits here include holiday and sick leave pay. Generally schools ask for at least a one-year commitment.
Where are Teaching Jobs in the UK Located?
Teaching Jobs in the UK are located UK wide, in cities, towns and in rural areas, in publicly funded or independent schools. It is true that most positions are available in the greater London area, as well as Manchester and Birmingham due to the majority of the population being located in these areas.
Types of Educational Facilities
Teaching positions in the UK can be available in either of the following institutions:
State Funded Schools – state funded institutions maintained by both the local and central government. These schools are managed by LEA’s (local education authorities) OR
Independent Schools – do not receive state funding and are largely supported and maintained by parents.
Levels of Education and Associated Institutions
Teaching jobs in the UK can be located in a variety of school levels and educational facility types including Nursery Schools and Early Childhood Centres, Primary and Secondary Schools as well as Special Education Needs facilities.
Nursery Schools and Early Childhood Centres
In the UK, childcare centres are known as Day Nurseries and are either privately owned or run by the local district or community called a Borough. In addition there are usually Nursery departments within Infant or Primary schools.
Pre-schools are also known as Nurseries and are for children up to 4 years old, after which the children enter the first year of formal learning which in the UK is called a Reception class. The Reception Class would be equivalent to Kindergarten in Australia and New Entrants in New Zealand. Nursery Nurses can be employed as Classroom Assistants in both the Reception class and Year 1 and sometimes throughout the school. A Nursery Manager will direct the educational program within a Day Nursery.
Primary and Secondary Schools
The UK has both public and private schools within all sectors of the education system. Students at Primary school level will be between 5 to 11 years of age while students at the secondary level are between 11 and 18 years of age. Sometimes students aged 16 to 18 years will attend a special tertiary or 6th form college. Since 1988 all schools conform to the British National Curriculum.
The core subject areas within the national curriculum include English, Mathematics, Science, Design & Technology and Information Technology. In England GSCE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations are taken at the age of 16 and Advanced ‘A’ Levels at age 18.
In the primary sector there have recently been significant changes to the way Literacy and Numeracy are taught in Primary Schools. Note that the new requirements are well supported and when teaching these areas you will know exactly what needs to be achieved from each lesson and you are guided throughout by supporting materials. If necessary, you will be able to receive more information on teaching Literacy and Numeracy in the UK through your UK teaching recruitment agency.
Special Educational Needs facilities or SEN Schools
There are SEN departments located in mainstream schools and there are also separate SEN schools that provide an education at both the primary and secondary schooling level. SEN schools have smaller classes that are often supported by a teacher and a classroom assistant, or a Nursery Nurse in the case of primary schools.
Types of SEN schools in the UK include EBD (Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties), MLD (Moderate Learning Difficulties) and SLD (Severe Learning Difficulties).
Note that in the UK you do not necessarily need a specific qualification or experience within SEN to teach special needs pupils. This can give you a chance to explore this type of teaching and develop your experience in this area in the UK if you wish. You may find that working with children with Special Educational Needs could be one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of your UK trip!
UK Visa and Immigration Information for Teachers
To enter the UK and work as a teacher, UK immigration requires you to have a valid UK Visa, Work Permit or Passport permitting you to live and work in the UK. The information below is specific to Teachers wishing to travel to and work in the UK. For more information about the specific visas and permits themselves please visit Work Permit Expert.com
With a UK Working Holiday Visa, teachers can work in their chosen profession on a supply basis but not on a permanent basis. This means you could choose to work on a day-to-day or long-term contract placement. Teachers with an UK Ancestry Visa, UK Right to Abode certificate or with an EU passport can undertake any type of teaching placement including day to day, long term contract or permanent positions.
If you wish to stay longer than your UK Working Holiday Visa allows you can seek a permanent position with sponsorship before your Working Holiday Visa is expired. Your teaching agency in the UK will usually be able to assist you with this. Gaining sponsorship in the UK as a teacher is made easier by any UK experience you have been able to gain during your working holiday visa.
Sponsorship for a UK Work Permit: Teachers have been added to the list by DES (Department for Education and Skills) of skills and vocations experiencing a shortage in the UK. This means that if you do not qualify for any of the other visa or passport types you may be able to get a sponsored work permit where a UK employer applies for a work permit on your behalf for a specific position. Many agencies can help you with this, even before you leave your home country. Please let Work Permit Expert know when you register if this is what you would require.
Expected Rates of Pay and Salaries – Teaching Job UK
*New Pay Scale to come into effect for UK Teachers from April 2003!
In addition to a set national curriculum for UK schools there is also a set national guideline pay scale for teachers in the UK. Happily, pay rates for teachers in the UK rose by 2.9% last year. These changes come into effect on April 2003.
Permanent Teaching Jobs UK
Salaries for qualified teachers in the UK start at 18,105 pounds per year while in Inner London the same teacher would start on 21,522 pounds due to higher cost of living. Salaries then progress on a scale which considers both number of years teaching, type of experienced gained and any extra responsibilities undertaken. For example, a teacher with five years experience could expect to earn roughly 26,460 pounds per annum outside of London. (The same teacher with five years experience teaching in London would earn 30,000 pounds per annum.)
Within teaching management, salaries can range from 34,180 pounds for a deputy head in a primary school to over 80,000 pounds per annum for a head teacher of a large secondary school.
Advanced Skills Teachers’ pay rates range from 28,000 to 46,000 pounds per annum.
Temporary Teaching Jobs UK
For day-to-day supply teaching pay rates can range from 90 to 120 pounds per full day of teaching for a fully qualified teacher. Usually there is a minimum expected weekly pay of about 550 pounds for a full week of supply teaching.
Income tax is set currently at 10% for first 1520 pounds, 22% up to 26,880, and 40% over 28,400 pounds per annum. For more information visit Work Permit Expert’ Links coming up shortly.
Before you go – A Checklist for Overseas Teachers going to the UK
What you’ll need
1. Teaching qualification
2. At least two years of teaching experience
3. A valid UK working visa or EU passport or Right to Abode see UK Visas for Teachers
4. A CV and References
5. Plans to travel to the UK
6. And a sense of adventure!
Teaching Agencies UK
Work Permit Expert partners with the best UK teaching agencies. Our partner agencies are specialists in assisting teachers from overseas and have long and successful track records. These are the people that can help you to fulfil your dream of teaching in the UK!
Planning for your UK Trip: UK School Term Dates
The British academic year runs from September to July.
Autumn Term 1st week in September to 3rd week in December
Spring Term 2nd week in January to Easter (April)
Summer Term After Easter (April) to 3rd week July
• Every 6/7 weeks there is a 1-week half term break.
• Is my teaching qualification recognised in the UK?
Yes! The British Government department of education recognises Teachers’ qualifications from several countries and do not normally require further certification from those qualified in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Canada.
• Can I teach in the UK on a working holiday visa?
Yes you can. You are allowed to undertake day-to-day supply or fixed contract teaching positions. You are not permitted to accept a permanent teaching staff position on a working holiday visa.
• Are there teaching positions available in central London?
Yes there are. For reasons of population and need most teacher vacancies are located in urban centres including London, Manchester and Birmingham. There are also positions available in smaller towns and rural areas.