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Frequently Asked Questions

(for international teachers interested in living and teaching in the UK)

Watch as we answer the TOP 5 most frequently asked questions!

What is supply teaching?

Supply teaching is the British name for casual relief or substitute teaching.

Do you place candidates in supply, permanent or fixed contract roles?

The UK Teach In business is predominantly permanent and fixed contract roles, we do not place British teachers in supply roles (we have a fantastic sister company, Supply Desk, who does that). However, we know that many overseas teachers moving to the UK prefer to work on supply contracts, as this gives them the flexibility to try living in different parts of the country, and more free time in which to explore their new environment and make new friends. For this reason we do offer our overseas teachers supply teaching jobs if this is preferred – we will consult with you in depth to find out the your ideal teaching situation, and then we’ll make it happen for you!

Do you offer secure guaranteed pay?

We certainly do. A GPS (guaranteed pay contract)is available for overseas teachers who choose to take a supply contract, so you can plan a budget (although we can’t guarantee you’ll stick to it!). We also offer overseas teachers long term contracts & permanent teaching jobs, which have guaranteed pay.

How flexible are the supply contracts – are there options of number of days we want to work?

Yes. You can discuss this with your local consultant.

What is your daily pay rate? If another agency is offering more, will your agency compromise?

We do not have a fixed pay rate for supply teachers as this is always dependent upon experience, location, and the school/s you will work at. Whether you are working permanent, fixed contract or supply, salary is always negotiable and dependent upon experience. Supply teaching salaries typically range from between £110-£180 per day, although highly experienced, in-demand teachers have been known to earn more.

What is the likelihood of securing a teaching contract through your agency before I leave for the UK?

If we take you on as a candidate we guarantee we will secure you the teaching contract of your choice prior to departure for the UK.

What kind of schools do you place teachers in – state, faith, independent?

All of the above and more! We work with over 5000 schools across 16 locations within UK. Read our detailed information about the types of UK schools we work with.

How long do teaching contracts ‘lock teachers in’ for?

Teachers placed by Teach In are not locked into contracts at all.

Assignments can be daily or weekly on casual relief assignments. Teachers on supply teachers are paid weekly. There is no notice period required if you want to leave a job, but we expect you to communicate with your local consultant if you are unhappy or have any cause for concern, so they can try to help improve the situation for you (they don’t want you to be unhappy)!

If you are on a temporary fixed term contact (such as covering a long term absence or maternity leave), we know this isn't your "forever" job but we do expect you give ample notice if you are not wanting to continue.

As part of the national Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales, in the UK all teachers in permanent roles are only able to resign at three periods in the year (once per term. Candidates placed in permanent teaching job must resign directly to the school principal.

How close are the schools you send us to – is there a limit to the distance we are expected to travel?

We aim to place you in local schools, well within one hours travel time, and usually much closer than that.

What kind of professional development do you offer?

We recognise the importance of continued professional development for teachers, and particularly for overseas teachers who are new to the UK education system. Before you start working you will attend an Overseas Teachers Induction Day, covering major topics such as behavior management, safeguarding, the UK curriculum and Ofsted.

We also offer a range of CPD courses throughout the year. Our UK Overseas Candidate Manager will work closely with you to ensure you have access to the PD you want / need.

What do all those UK teaching acronyms mean?

Read our guide to UK Education Acronyms and never be confused in staff meetings again!

Do you assist with police checks? Will I be reimbursed for any of these expenses?

You will need to apply for local (and in some cases UK) police checks before you leave home, we will give you the necessary details. You will need to have your police check/s done in order to be officially cleared to work in the UK. The process can take as long as three months and as short as a few days. These expenses are your own costs. In some circumstances you may be able to claim the associated costs as a tax deduction.

What is the NHS and how can I access it?

The NHS is the UK’s free national health service, which gives you access to doctors, dentists and hospitals. You will be entitled to access this benefit as you will be paying National Insurance (NI), which is automatically taken out of your pay by the British government. You will need to apply for a NI number when you arrive in the UK.

What social events does your agency offer for networking and socialising with other international and British teachers?

We regularly host social events in a number of cities in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, where you can come and meet other teachers who are also UK-bound.

Your local rep will also arrange activities at which you can meet other teachers, and you will meet other brand-new-to-the-UK teachers at our UK teaching inductions.

Do you assist teachers to find housing in the UK? 

Choosing your home is a personal decision. We can advise you on where to live, good locations & decent cost of living prices but it's your choice.

We have schools in some locations that offer onsite accommodation or short term accommodation options. We also have some schools where teachers are happy to put up overseas teachers and sub-let them a room. We also have teachers coming and going all year, so there is often rooms available in teacher houses.

Our UK consultants will be able to help teachers who secure a role in a school in the UK with advice and support. Your local and UK consultants will help you work out what locations are good to live in, what agencies to register with and how to apply for homes.

Many overseas teachers start in the UK with an Air BNB stay while they seek out rentals once they arrive. Never take up a contract sight unseen!

Have a question about accommodation?

email: australia@teachin.co.uk

What are Umbrella Companies and should I use them?

As a teacher working via Teach In, you have the option to work via an Umbrella Company or be paid as an employee via PAYE.

An Umbrella Company is a payroll provider acting as the "go between" between the agency (Teach In, Supply Desk, Just Teachers) and contractor (you, the teacher). In years gone, overseas teachers could use this option in order to claim back lots of expenses on a weekly basis but these expenses are now much more limited, so there is not really much of a reason to use them unless you plan on having multiple employers, so you can stay on the same tax rate. You have to pay both employee and employer National Insurance tax if you choose to work via an Umbrella Company so your pay rate is higher if you choose this pathway, to cover the employer tax component. 

You can read more about umbrella companies at this link.

If you choose not to use an umbrella company you will work as a PAYE (a tax term meaning pay as you earn) employee. You won't get any work related expenses, tax deductions & it's up to you to organise your end of year tax form. You do not pay any fees as a PAYE worker. This is what the vast majority of teachers end up doing. 

I'm interested in working via an Umbrella Company, what next? 

Contact your consultant to have your details passed onto our Umbrella Company. 

Do I have to work via an Umbrella Company?

No. Unlike many other agencies, all international teachers have a choice whether to use one of our preferred umbrella companies or not. All international teachers will sign with our PAYE accounts team in Australia or Canada. If you decide you want to speak to a Umbrella Company consultant, your details will be passed on with your consent. You will not be forced into working with an Umbrella Company if you don't want to.  

What is the HELP repayment situation for Australian teachers working in England

If you are an Australian teacher with a student debt planning to teach in the UK, it pays to know the situation with repaying your HELP debt.

It’s really important you get your finances in order when moving to the other side of the world.
Aussie teachers should let the ATO (Australian Tax Office) that you are leaving the country and planning to teach in the UK. You can let the ATO you are moving to the UK here.
Here’s the GOOD news for Aussie teachers with a HECS debt:
Unless you are earning more than $53,000  you don’t have to start paying this debt back. You do have the option to make voluntary contributions whilst you are overseas. Making voluntary contributions will, of course, reduce your overall HELP debt, which is indexed to inflation and rises each year.

You can read more about the current HELP repayment situation for expats here.

For any further advice about the cost of living in the U.K. or how much you will earn as a teacher contact your local Teach In branch.

How can international teachers attain QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) in the UK?

International teachers looking for teaching jobs in the UK may see the acronym QTS. QTS stands for Qualified Teacher Status, which is awarded to British teachers who have completed their training with certified training providers in the UK or awarded to International teachers who are eligible to apply based on their experience and qualification.

You do not need QTS to work as an overseas teacher in the UK, but within 5 years of teaching in the UK, you will need to have achieved it. You can complete a 12 week pathway to gain QTS after you have worked in the UK for at least two years in multiple schools, through the Ässessment Only" route.

Newly Qualified Teachers (teaching graduates)  are not automatically eligible for QTS. You will need to have completed your degree and then moved from provisional to proficient in your home country in order to apply.

Click on this link or read the information below from the Gov.UK site regarding applying for QTS as an overseas teacher.

Teachers who trained outside the UK

If you are a qualified teacher from a country outside the UK or have gained teaching experience outside the UK, read the guidance on routes to QTS for teachers who qualified outside the UK.

Recognition of QTS for teachers who want to teach overseas

To find out if the country where you plan to work recognises QTS, and whether they require any further teaching qualifications, check with the organisation that regulates teachers in that country.

UK ENIC is the UK’s national information centre for professional qualifications and can give you contact details for the appropriate organisation in your chosen country.

Qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS)

If you are an experienced post-14 teacher and have QTLS status and membership of the Society for Education and Training, you may be eligible to work as a qualified teacher in schools in England.

You can find out how to obtain QTLS and how to teach in a maintained school with QTLS.

Independent sector teachers

If you’re from the independent sector, you need QTS to teach in the maintained and non-maintained special school sectors.

There are a number of routes that assess previous teaching experience.

Learn more about teaching and training to teach in a private or independent school in England.


Teaching Regulation Agency

Email qts.enquiries@education.gov.uk

Telephone 0207 593 5394

If you have any questions, please contact us! australia@teachin.co.uk