Trained teachers from overseas may be eligible to teach in England while they achieve qualified teacher status (QTS).
Overseas trained teachers include:
Mobility laws apply for EU-trained teachers and they can access teaching positions in England in the same way as home trained teachers
Teachers who trained outside the EEA are eligible to work in schools in England as temporary, unqualified teachers for up to four years while achieving QTS. This programme is only available in England.
Teachers who qualified overseas and have refugee status are eligible for the Overseas Trained Teacher Programme (OTTP).
Once overseas teachers have found a teaching position in a school in England, the OTTP provides an individual training and assessment programme that leads to a qualification to teach in England permanently. The programme is only available in England.
The length of the programme depends on how much additional training is needed. However, the longest amount of time a trainee can spend on the programme is one year full-time. If teachers feel their skills and experience meet all the QTS standards with minimal additional training, they may apply for assessment-based training.
If an overseas trained teacher needs to undertake a programme of additional training, the Teaching Agency will cover the costs (up to a value of £1250) as well as for the final assessment against the QTS standards. The school will pay the teacher's salary.
The teacher must be qualified as a teacher overseas and working as an unqualified teacher in a school in England. If the teacher qualified outside the European Economic Area (EEA), they will need:
Overseas teachers who have not successfully achieved, or cannot demonstrate, GCSE grade C or above in mathematics and English may be given an opportunity to show that they can meet the required standard, either by taking an equivalence test or by offering other evidence of attainment. The National Academic Recognition Centre (NARIC) website shows what qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A-levels and undergraduate degrees.
Teachers who qualified in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, another country in the EEA or Switzerland, you may be eligible for qualified teacher status (QTS) without further assessment. Teachers with qualifications from these countries should contact the Teaching Agency to have their qualifications assessed.
If you are a refugee but don't have a degree, you can find out more about initial teacher training (ITT) from other pages on this website.
When you have a teaching post and you have established that you have all the necessary qualifications, you should apply directly to an employment based initial teacher training (EBITT) provider in your area. They will assess and approve your application and discuss your training needs with you as necessary. There are no deadlines for the OTTP although it is up to EBITT providers to establish start dates for programmes. If resident in Wales, you may be eligible to join an employment-based route towards QTS.
The four-year rule states that overseas trained teachers (OTTs) can teach for up to four years before they must be QTS qualified. If a teacher has not achieved QTS within four years, they can no longer teach. If they wish to continue teaching, they must complete a programme such as a PGCE to gain QTS, or gain employment in an independent school. The four years start from the first day of teaching in a mainstream school in England, and includes any time out of service.
Teaching Information Line
Organisation type: Other
Telephone: 0800 389 2500