Things to do before teaching in the UK

The education system in the UK is one of the best in the world, with plenty of great opportunities and career professions for talented teachers. If you are from overseas and are considering teaching in the UK, there are a few things to make sure you do before starting your new job.

Apply for your visa

First, ensure that you are eligible to work in the UK by checking your local British High Commission website and selecting your country. If you are eligible, and from outside of the EEA (i.e New Zealand, Australia and Canada), you may need to apply for a UK visa. There are several types of visas available with different eligibility criteria, which allow non-British nationals to work within the UK. Check out the UK Border Agency to find out the most up to date information regarding visa requirements before entering the country.

DBS and police checks (CRB)

Before entering the country to work, it is advisable that you make sure you have an up to date police check, from your country of origin, in your possession. If you have resided in any other country for more than 6 months since the age of 18 you should also aim to provide a clearance check from those countries as well. Without a police check, it could take up to six weeks before you are able to start work upon arriving in the UK whilst you wait for your DBS check to come through.

For those working with children, the UK requires a mandatory DBS check to be carried out. We run a DBS Application Assistance programme to help guide you through the process.


As well as being eligible to work in the UK, as an overseas trained teacher you will need to make sure you have a fully recognised teaching qualification. Due to the curriculum similarities, teachers who are qualified and registered, and are from the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, can apply for UK Qualified Teacher Status.

We also run free CPD courses throughout the year to ensure you continue your professional development and make the most of the available opportunities to you whilst working in the UK.

Also, consider any other qualifications you may wish to use during your time in the UK. For example, undertaking a TEFL qualification may allow you the opportunity to travel during the summer months and teach English in other nearby countries. There are plenty of opportunities available in the UK, so be sure to do some research before you arrive.


Before you head over to the UK you will want to sort out where you will be living. Accommodation prices and quality can vary tremendously. If you are planning on working and living in the UK, it is unlikely you will want to spend your nights ‘couch surfing’. Depending on where you are planning on working in the country will determine the accommodation quality and price. Finding somewhere to stay in London can be difficult and so it is a good idea to arrange this before arriving.

Have a chat with one of our team to find out more about where to begin securing long-term accommodation within the UK.

Healthcare and National Insurance (NI)

As an overseas teacher working within the UK, you will be able to make use of The British National Health Service. Use of the service is available to all those who make National Insurance contributions, which are automatically deducted out of your pay. One of our team can provide you with information about how to apply for your National Insurance Number to make sure you have access to the NHS whilst living and working in the UK.

A short while after moving to the UK, we would advise that you register with a local doctor. If you fail to register with a local doctor, hospitals can refuse to admit you should you need it in the future. So it is best to consider doing this as soon as possible. You can search for your local doctor using the NHS website and apply directly to the surgery. To do so you will need to provide photographic identification as well as proof of address.

Tax and salaries

Whilst working in the UK, you will be taxed accordingly under the UK taxation rates. Any tax owed will automatically be deducted from your paycheck. This is something to consider before arriving in the UK, to ensure your payment will cover the amount of tax required and your living costs. If you have any concerns about how UK taxation rules will affect you during your stay, have a chat with one of our team members.


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