Can qualified overseas teachers work in the UK?

After getting married I had to move to the UK to settle, I used to be an English language teacher in my country that is Tunisia, I enjoyed my job as it is the job I have always wanted to do... I'd like to ask whether qualified overseas teachers can work in the UK? If any one has gone under the same experience, let's  share please, because every little helps ;)

I understand a foreigner, legally married to a British subject, has the right to work freely in the UK. (Taken from a single case so wise to check that info).
I'm unsure about how qualifications would be seen in a UK school but it should be pretty easy to find out.
I would do as I did in Indonesia. Call the headmaster of the local comprehensive school and ask if they have a moment for a chat.
Heads have regular meetings with all area school so you'll likely get free advertising from it.
Good luck.

It sounds interesting, a little hope this morning ;)
thanks Fred, will tell you about it for sure.

That sounds great but a bit difficult, isn't it?
it's difficult when you don't know people, you know nothing about the country and people's reactions...
I live near a school quiet near, and I don't know if I can have the courage to go to the headmaster and talk to him about that...
How did you do to start? where are you from? was it difficult for you as well?
Please tell me more about your experience so that I can have a clearer idea about it..
Thanks a lot for your help
Have a nice weekend then  :)

oh sure!! That would be of great pleasure to me, as you know, I'm here with no friends yet, I left everything in Tunisia including my friends and I miss everything, then will send a private message right now, with my details.
Oh yes that would be nice to meet up with you very soon :)

Hi, it depends what you mean by English language teaching. If it is TEFL then opportunities are very limited. My co-form tutor has teaching certs from Poland for TEFL and got QTS (qualified teacher status) without a need for the induction/probationary year so with no WP and full quals she is ahead of you in the queue yet she works as a teaching assistant as no work. TEFL has suffered massive cut backs. Most schools seem to have recruitment freezes, I have quit to work overseas and they are not replacing me (I'm a science teacher and supposed to be a shortage!) and lots of others that quit. Class sizes will go up and teachers work more - the UK is bankrupt almost!

TA work would be best first. Or private tuition. However for TEFL people want native speakers mostly to be honest.

If you are an English as an academic subject teacher that is different. Although times are tough, there are lots of OTTs (overseas trained taechers) around in English and if you have permission to work here then that makes you more attractive. This does mean working at a tough school prob. Schools where you can be punched and headbutted (happened to me), bitten or leg broken (my boss) and definately harrassed including condoms put on foor handles to lube all over the handle! This happens more to male teachers, so as female you will have less violence, however low level harrassement will happen. These sort of schools are the ones that hire OTTs I'm afraid to say as local teachers don't want to work there. That is secondary. In Primary there is a massive oversupply of local teachers. Many are unemployed

You could do a local PGCE as one alternative and train as a teacher here - it will cost you 10k GBP but if you have the cash and a wish for a career long term. It would be valuable if you return home. PGCEs come with QTS and would massively increase your employment chances

You could volunteer if money isn't the issue. That would allow you to see how UK schools run and maybe get a job later. a reference at least form an appreciative head! And better contacts of course

Good luck!

PS look at

also has jobs!

Hi Nemodot!
thank you for posting though it sounds too realistic to the point that I felt a bit sad, I found your answer transparent.
I cannot go back home, I got married and I am supposed to live with my husband here in London, I spent the academic year 2010 2011 teaching in Tunisia as my country really needed support after the revolution we made to kick the former president out of the country, and now my husband wants me to live here with him...
I want to fulfill my dream job that is Teaching, but you know when I read what you've written I felt that it is really hard to integrate this "new" world to me professionally speaking. I have hardly friends and actually I feel like useless without a job, a teaching job!

Thank you for clarifying some points, and let's keep in touch Nemodot, right?

Hi sorry to be blunt but teaching in UK is hard! I work with lots of OTTs and they found it hard especially as most are from countries where students respect teachers and discipline is strong. In UK being spat on, sworn at etc is the norm in tough schools. Being sworn at on the phone by parents is also not uncommon! Obviously there are lovely schools too and private schools. If you have the cash I would recommend qualifying here with a PGCE. Although problems now with too many grads, check the TES forums for all the woes, if you skip a year volunteering in a school or TA work then do a PGCE you will prob avoid the worst of the job freezes. My ex gf was an OTT and an english teacher and she TA'd in a primary school in a rough school. They start being rough young here so primary is no bed of roses. Of course the present government is more old fashioned and the pendulum has began to swing back again. We weren't judged on behaviour but now we are again in lesson observations. The trouble is society really and I can't online mention the issues I have had to deal. Modern teachers are more social workers than subject teachers. It is emotionally draining and hard. I'm off soon to teach in Malaysia where education is still valued and so are teachers although I do love travel!

And I hope Tunisia settles down peacefully.

Thanx a lot for your response :)

I am looking for a different job at the moment, a summer job as I can't really feel usless beleive me...

I hope that you'll enjoy your trip to Malysia, a really wonderful country, lucky you!

Hello Mannouta

I am a new user of this forum. I ve just read your messages and im writing to tell you that you and i share many similarities.
I am a Moroccan, i got married recently and i am moving to London very soon.I ve been looking for jobs over there but seems its a bit challenging.
I ve been teaching English in my country as well and im looking for teaching opportunities. However, i need a QTS. I think we need to enroll in a teaching colledge to get a QTS to be able to teach in the UK. Otherwise, if you are interested in valuntary and charity work which will do us good to get a job in the future. I ve got a teaching opportunity that may help you since i wont be able to come to England Before Ramadan.
For more info about the position, send me your details and i am more than happy to help.

I am still looking for job opportunities in different fields, so any of you can help please do.


Good morning,
will send you a private message soon :)

I am still waiting for your answer, I have sent you a private message on this website, you can check it now ;)

One thing to consider is to teach your native language in the UK or tutor. You might find this a good option if you enjoy teaching.

[b]I do beleive in the Idea you know :)
But is there any chance to teach Arabic oin London...
Basically I came to teach English since this is the language I went to university for and to teach later, it would be a great opportunity to make it in a country where the official language is English.[/b]

Mannouta, I have sent you a private message - I hope you will respond.

Best wishes,


I am a canadian citizen & a mauritian citizen. I am the holder of a Maitrise en Langues Vivantes (english) from a French University and 7 years teaching experience working as a Secondary School English teacher for the Government of Mauritius. I want to come to teach in the Uk. I have a couple of questions:
a) Do you think I will qualify to become a certified teacher through my qualifications & experience?
b) Where should I apply to get this certification?
Thank you very much for your help.

Yes technically for 4 years max as an Overseas Trained Teacher (OTT).

Look at and look for forum Overseas Trained Teachers.

But as many UK citizens with UK QTS can't get jobs now why would you be hired? English for a non native is especially hard to sell. You get a lot of OTT Maths and Science teachers. English ones I met were mostly South African (and white).

My ex is from Maldives, a fantastic English teacher with perfect English. She never could get a school job.

The main issue is that in London where the OTT jobs mostly are the kids will eat you alive. You literally find the bones of OTTs in the corner of the room (!) as British kids spit at teachers, are rude, swear, refuse to comply with instructions, hit/assault teachers with almost impunity. (I had all these in London) and uK teachers are trained to teach these lovely products of British culture.

I now teach in Malaysia where children are children and respect teachers. The main issue is I would have  ahard time returning as UK teachers are more social workers. OTT's are not trained for that.

So heads are reluctant to employ with surplus UK teachers and work permit issues!

So I don't recommend it.

Within the 4 years OTT limit you must get QTS via an approved program usually run by a University. You cannot get certified with your teaching licence. Then you need to do the induction year and pass that. Induction has to be passed to stay in the state system.

merçi bien mais vous pouvez ècrire en français c mieux pour moi

Hello youssefjelassi -> You are on an English Speaking forum. Here is the French Speaking forum where you can introduce yourself. ;)

[Sorry guys for the off topic]

Thank you,

I found REESON Education highly reliable when applying for a UK teaching job! Could be worth getting in touch with them about it all.

Hi Cole.

Thanks for your input.  However, you've responded to a thread that's had no activity for approx 5 years, so I suspect you won't get much of a response.

Expat Team

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