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Overseas trained teachers have long played a vital role in the education system in the UK. They bring a wealth of experience and knowledge from their home countries, and can help to diversify and enrich the teaching profession in the UK.

However, for overseas trained teachers, the process of qualifying to teach in the UK can be complex and challenging. In this blog, we will explore some of the key steps that overseas trained teachers need to take to qualify to teach in the UK.

Step 1: Assessment of qualifications

The first step for overseas trained teachers is to have their qualifications assessed by a recognised body in the UK. This is important because it helps to determine whether the qualifications meet the standards required for teaching in the UK.

There are several organisations in the UK that can carry out this assessment, including the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC) and the Department for Education’s Overseas Teacher Qualification Assessment Service (OTQAS). These organisations will look at factors such as the level of the qualifications, the content of the courses, and the amount of teaching experience that the teacher has.

You can qualify for this if you are from the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • The EEA
  • Gibraltar
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • The USA

In addition, if you have a subject specialism in languages, mathematics or science and a teaching qualification to teach 11 to 16 year olds from one of the following 7 countries, you will be able to use the service to check if you meet the requirements and apply for QTS in England:

  • Ghana
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Nigeria
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

Step 2: English language proficiency

Another important requirement for overseas trained teachers is to demonstrate proficiency in English. This is because teachers need to be able to communicate effectively with their students and colleagues in the UK.

Most teachers will need to provide evidence of their English language proficiency by taking an approved language test, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Step 3: Teacher training

Once the qualifications and language proficiency of the overseas trained teacher have been assessed, they will need to undergo teacher training in the UK. The type of training required will depend on the individual’s qualifications and experience.

For example, if the teacher has a degree in education from their home country, they may be able to undertake a shorter training programme that focuses on the specific aspects of teaching in the UK. Alternatively, if the teacher has limited teaching experience, they may need to undergo a more comprehensive training programme.

Step 4: Induction and assessment

After completing teacher training, overseas trained teachers will need to undergo a period of induction and assessment. This is to ensure that they are able to meet the standards required for teaching in the UK.

During the induction period, the teacher will work under the supervision of an experienced teacher, who will provide guidance and support. The teacher will also be assessed on their teaching skills and knowledge.

Step 5: Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

The final step for overseas trained teachers is to obtain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This is a requirement for all teachers in the UK, and it indicates that the teacher has met the standards required for teaching in the country.

To obtain QTS, the teacher will need to pass an assessment that evaluates their teaching skills and knowledge. This assessment is known as the Assessment Only (AO) route, and it is designed for teachers who have already completed teacher training and have experience teaching in the UK.

In conclusion, while the process of qualifying to teach in the UK as an overseas trained teacher can be complex and challenging, it is an important step in helping to ensure that teachers are able to provide high-quality education to students. By following the steps outlined above, overseas trained teachers can successfully navigate the process and make a valuable contribution to the education system in the UK.

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