Train to teach in England if you're a non-UK citizen – GOV.UK

December 10, 2021 by No Comments

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Updated 8 December 2021

© Crown copyright 2021
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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/train-to-teach-in-england-non-uk-applicants/train-to-teach-in-england-if-youre-a-non-uk-citizen
To train to teach in England you will need:
You will also need to:
To teach children aged 11 to 18 in secondary school, you’ll need:
To teach children aged 3 to 11 in primary school you will also need a standard in physics, chemistry or biology equivalent to a grade 4 GCSE.
A GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) is an academic qualification awarded for exams in England, usually taken at age 16. Get help understanding GCSEs, other English qualifications and their international equivalents.
If you do not have a degree, you can apply to study a 3 to 4 year undergraduate course in England which combines a teaching degree with attainment of qualified teacher status (QTS). When you have completed your studies, you’ll be able to apply for jobs as a teacher in England.
Visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs for lots of helpful information about studying at an English university.
The Department for Education (DfE)’s Get into Teaching website contains lots of helpful information about training to teach, and life as a teacher in England, including details about salaries and benefits.
If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, your teacher training provider may want to see a statement of comparability showing their equivalence to UK qualifications.
Call Get into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:
You can register with DfE’s Get an adviser service for personalised advice about teaching in England over email and phone, and use Get into Teaching’s online chat function.
Financial support only applies to fee-paying teacher training in England (this means you pay a fee to study, instead of earning a salary while you train).
International candidates can expect to pay between about £11,000 and £16,000, plus living costs, to train. Fees vary between training providers. Any financial support, including a potential reduction to the home fee rate (which is set at a maximum of £9,250) is dependent on your immigration status.
This guidance is an overview of the eligibility rules. Exceptions may apply in certain circumstances.
You may be eligible to get financial support with your teacher training course if you:
If you are an applicant from outside the EEA or Switzerland, you are unlikely to be eligible for financial support.
To be eligible for financial support, you must usually have settled status (for example, indefinite leave to remain and have been living in the UK throughout the 3 years immediately before the start of your course. Exceptions apply in some cases – for example, if you have been recognised as a refugee.
Further information about exceptions can be found at Student finance: eligibility.
For more information, contact Student Finance England:
You can also contact the UK Council for International Student Affairs for advice.
If you have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may be able to get some or all of the following types of financial support with your living costs or teacher training course fees known as tuition fees.
Special provisions apply to Irish citizens.
This section explains the types of financial support you can get.
Your tuition fees are paid in full, with the money going directly to your teacher training provider. This is a loan you have to pay back, but you’ll only start your repayments when your income is over a certain amount – for the 2021 to 2022 financial year, this is £27,295 per year.
Money is paid directly into your bank account to help with your living costs. This is a loan you have to pay back, but you’ll only start your repayments when your income is over a certain amount – for the 2021 to 2022 financial year, this is £27,295 per year.
You are charged tuition fees at the domestic rate (up to £9,250 for a full-time course) which is usually lower than the rate charged to international students.
You can apply for extra help if you have a disability, children or an adult dependant to care for. You do not have to pay this money back.
Money is paid directly into your bank account and you can use this as you wish. You do not have to pay this money back.
This section explains how to check whether you are eligible.
You will generally be eligible for both a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan if you meet these requirements. You must:
You will also generally be eligible for both a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan if you meet these requirements. You must:
A worker is someone who is employed or self-employed in the UK.
A family member is a spouse or civil partner, child and, sometimes, parent or grandparent.
If you are not eligible for both a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan then you may be able to get a tuition fee loan without a maintenance loan if you meet the following requirements. You must:
Special provisions apply to Irish citizens. If you are an Irish citizen then you do not need to have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme as you already have settled status in the UK.
You will generally be eligible for a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan if you meet these 2 requirements:
You may be able to get a tuition fee loan without a maintenance loan if you meet these 2 requirements:
If you meet the requirements for a tuition fee loan, or tuition fee loan and maintenance loan, you will be charged fees at the home rate (up to £9,250 for a full-time course).
If you have a disability, children or an adult dependant to care for, and you are eligible for a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan, you may be able to apply for extra help.
You could apply for:
If you meet the eligibility requirements for a tuition fee loan, or tuition fee and maintenance loan, you may also be eligible for a teacher training bursary or scholarship.
Bursaries and scholarships are only available in certain subjects.
You can find more detailed information at Student finance: eligibility.
Student Finance England has a dedicated service for EU students and for EEA citizens working in the UK.
You can also contact the UK Council for International Student Affairs for advice.
If you have been recognised as a refugee by the UK government, you and your spouse, or civil partner and children, are eligible for financial support for teacher training.
You will also need:
If you are an asylum seeker you will not be eligible for financial support, but if you are recognised as a refugee after your course has started, you may be able to claim financial support to complete your studies.
Financial support can include:
If, as a refugee, you are eligible for help with course fees, you may also be eligible for a bursary or scholarship.
Bursaries and scholarships are only available in certain subjects.
To start your application for Student Finance support, you need to have chosen your teacher training course, but you do not need a confirmed place.
Apply to Student Finance England for:
Talk to your training provider about:
Use the Find postgraduate teacher training service to search for teacher training courses in England by location, teaching subject and age group.
If you have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or indefinite leave to remain, you can apply to any teacher training provider in England.
If you do not have settled or pre-settled status, or indefinite leave to remain, you should contact your chosen teacher training providers directly before you apply online to get their advice about your eligibility and the application process. Many training providers have experience of welcoming international candidates and can offer support. However, due to rules about immigration, not all will be able to accept your application.
When you’ve selected appropriate teacher training courses on Find postgraduate teacher training, you’ll be guided to the Apply for teacher training service, where you can submit applications.
If you’ve registered with an adviser, they’ll be able to explain the different types of courses available. You can train in a school or in a university setting, and study full-time (over a year) or part-time (over 2 or more years).
You can choose to apply for a fee-paying or salaried teacher training course.
A fee-paying teacher training course means you pay a fee to study as a teacher. The majority of students training as teachers in England train on this type of course.
Fee-paying courses include:
A salaried teacher training course means you are paid to work in a school while you learn to teach. However, these courses are competitive and you will usually need to have achieved highly in your bachelor’s degree and, for a School Direct salaried course, have at least 3 years’ relevant work experience.
Salaried courses include:
To apply for a postgraduate teaching apprenticeship you will need:
If you don’t have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will need:
All of the courses training to teach children aged 3 to 19 listed on Find postgraduate teacher training include qualified teacher status (QTS). QTS is a legal requirement to teach in many English schools, and considered desirable for teachers in the majority of schools in England.
Some teacher training courses also include a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) or a postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE). You do not need a PGCE or PGDE to teach in England, but these academic qualifications may improve your employability inside and outside the UK.
QTS is recognised in many countries around the world – check with the organisation responsible for regulating teachers in the country where you want to teach.
You can find more information about ways to train on the Get into Teaching website. Remember to get advice from your chosen training provider before you apply.
Find postgraduate teacher training
Apply for teacher training
If you have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), or indefinite leave to remain, you will not need a visa to train to teach in the UK.
If you are currently studying in the UK on a student visa, you may be able to apply for a graduate visa.
If you’re not sure about your immigration status, you can check if you need a UK visa.
If you are from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you might be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living, working and studying in the UK without applying for a visa.
The deadline for most people to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme was 30 June 2021.
If you or your family are from the EEA or Switzerland, you can still apply if you or a family member were living in the UK by 31 December 2020. You must also either:
More information is available about the eligibility criteria for later applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.
You can also apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you already have pre-settled status and are applying for settled status. You must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme again before your pre-settled status expires to stay in the UK.
You’ll need a visa or other immigration status that allows you to work or study in the UK, unless you:
The main visa routes for teacher training in England are:
Depending on your personal circumstances, you may be eligible for other visas.
The type of visa you need will depend on whether you are on a fee-paying or salaried teacher training course.
For a fee-paying teacher training course, you will need a student visa. Student visas must be sponsored by a Home Office licensed student sponsor.
Contact your chosen teacher training provider to check they are a Home Office licensed student sponsor – sponsors can help you apply for your visa. You can also refer to the UK government’s Register of licensed sponsors: students, which lists all training providers that can sponsor students.
You’ll be able to apply for your visa if you:
For your offer to be confirmed, you’ll have to be accepted on to a teacher training course, and may also have to pass criminal record and health checks, so we recommend applying to your training provider early.
Apply for a student visa
For a salaried teacher training course, you will need a skilled worker visa. Skilled worker visas are sponsored by Home Office licensed employers.
You will need to find out whether the school you’ll be employed by during your training is a Home Office licensed employer sponsor. Sometimes it will be the local authority or academy trust that holds the sponsor licence instead of the individual school. You could check the Home Office’s Register of licensed sponsors: workers, but you should also check directly with your chosen teacher training provider. Sponsors can help you apply for your visa.
You’ll be able to apply for your visa if:
For your offer to be confirmed, you’ll have to be accepted on to a teacher training course, and may also have to pass criminal record and health checks, so we recommend applying to your training provider early.
The salary threshold you must meet depends on the region you work in as a salaried trainee.
This table shows the minimum salary non-UK salaried trainee teachers must earn to be eligible for a skilled worker visa, by region.
Find more information about salary requirements if you’re applying for a skilled worker visa and you’re planning to work in education.
You may be able to train part-time, but your salary must meet the threshold for a skilled worker visa.
There are 2 requirements:
Apply for a skilled worker visa.
This section explains the other visas and immigration routes you can use.
If you are already an international student in the UK, you can apply for a graduate visa on successful completion of your degree. To apply, you will need to have been sponsored by a Home Office licensed student sponsor over the course of your studies.
The graduate visa will allow you to study, work, or look for work in the UK for up to 2 years after completing your studies (3 years for PhD students) without a sponsor. This includes training as a teacher on a salaried or fee-paying initial teacher training course if the course does not meet the requirements for a student visa.
You will be able to switch from a graduate visa to another visa (such as the skilled worker visa) without having to leave the UK, if you meet the requirements for the other visa route.
The Youth Mobility Scheme allows young people from certain countries to come to the UK to study or work without a sponsor. This includes training as a teacher via either a salaried or fee-paying initial teacher training course.
A Youth Mobility Scheme visa lasts up to 2 years. You may be able to switch from a Youth Mobility Scheme visa to another visa route (for example, the skilled worker visa) without having to leave the UK. You’ll need to meet the requirements for the other visa route.
Depending on your personal circumstances, you may be able to work or study in the UK on alternative visas – for example, a Family visa, a UK Ancestry visa or, if you are from Hong Kong, a British National (Overseas) visa.
If you have been granted refugee status, you can apply for teacher training – either salaried or fee-paying – and will usually be eligible for financial support to train to teach on a fee-paying course.
If you are in the process of seeking asylum, you should refer to your immigration bail conditions to see if you have permission to study on a teacher training course. You will not usually be eligible for financial support to train to teach on a fee-paying course. You are also unlikely to be able to undertake salaried teacher training while your asylum claim is considered, because asylum seekers do not usually have the right to work, although there are some exceptions.
Learn more about claiming asylum in the UK if you are an asylum seeker.
Support for British and non-British nationals in Afghanistan.
You may need to pay for UK healthcare as part of your immigration application – this is called the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).
However, students can usually claim a refund of the IHS if they:
Learn more about getting an IHS refund.
You’ll also have to pay visa fees. Use this tool to calculate how much your visa will cost.
Finally, you will usually need to show proof of a certain level of savings or income, depending on which visa you are applying for. You’ll be guided through this process when you apply for your visa.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) delivers independent advice about all aspects of the international student experience, including immigration, finding a place to live and opening a bank account. Their Student Advice Line also offers support over the phone.
Contact your teacher training provider to ask if they can offer any advice about your move to the UK.
Global travel, including to the UK, is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). If you are a non-UK national, you should check your country’s advice as well as the UK’s advice to find out what you must do before you travel to England and after you arrive, including what COVID-19 tests you need to take and the quarantine rules for travel to England.
The UK government has also published guidance about what to do if you need a visa to travel to the UK.
Further information is available for those affected by changes to UK immigration and borders due to COVID-19.
If you’re accepted on to an English teacher training course, you’ll train for one year (or longer if you’re part-time) to gain QTS.
You may need to apply for a different visa to work in England as a qualified teacher. Our guidance for non-UK nationals wishing to teach in England explains the skilled worker visa and covers other ways you can update, extend or switch your visa when you finish your training.
When you have qualified teacher status (QTS), you will be able to apply for paid teaching jobs in all schools in England. Many schools will accept applications from trainees who will soon complete their training and gain QTS, as well as those who have finished their training.
Search Teaching Vacancies for teaching jobs in England
After QTS, many schools will require you to complete an early career teacher (ECT) 2-year induction period, when you’ll work and be assessed as a paid teacher in a school. This induction period is part of the UK government’s early career framework for teachers in England, which helps teachers succeed by developing their professional practice, knowledge and working habits. You’ll get training and support from a mentor to help you meet the Teachers’ Standards.
Visit the following websites for more information about English education:
You can register with DfE’s Get an adviser service for personalised advice about teaching in England over email and phone, and use Get into Teaching’s online chat function.
Visit the Get into Teaching website to learn more about life as a teacher in England.
DfE does not administer teacher training courses, or appoint teachers, so we cannot help with individual applications to training providers or schools. However, for help with the information on this page, you can email us at [email protected].
Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.
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