Useful Information - FAQs

  1. What documents do I need to make available so I can teach in the UK?
  2. In what capacity can I work with Academics in the UK?
  3. What is the difference between working as a Contractor or as a Permanent member of staff?
  4. I was trained as a teacher outside the UK. How can I increase my earning power in the UK?
  5. What is QTS?
  6. Do I need to bring any additional documents with me from home if I wish to gain QTS?
  7. How much can I expect to earn as a teacher in the UK?
  8. Can Academics help me set up a UK bank account?
  9. I have a question about filling in my Visa or National Police Check application. Can Academics International help me?
  10. What sort of service can I expect to receive before I leave my home country?
  11. I have a teaching friend who is travelling with me. Can Academics assist them as well?
  12. How much money should I arrive in the UK with?
  13. At what time of the year would the most teaching opportunities become available?
  14. What is OFSTED?
  15. I've been told that there are only 3 school terms in the UK academic year. If this is the case, how do the holidays work?
  16. Can I expect to hear from the UK offices prior to my arrival?
  17. If I get sick in the UK, what should I do?
  18. When I teach in the UK will I receive a Superannuation/Pension contribution from my employer?
  19. Academics have organised a phone interview for me with regards to a possible teaching opportunity. What steps should I take before the interview?
  20. I feel like I have so many general questions about living and working in the UK, where do I start?!

What documents do I need to make available so I can teach in the UK?

In order to teach in the UK with Academics, you will need:

  • An updated Curriculum Vitae/Resume.
  • A current passport with appropriate Visa, or provide eligibility of an suitable Visa.
  • Two passport size photographs.
  • Two written teaching related references/testimonials (practicum reports are suitable for Newly Qualified Teachers).
  • Relevant Academic Transcripts and Education Certificates.
  • A current Police/Criminal History Check issued in both the country you are currently working in and countries you have previously work in.
  • Completion of the Academics Online Registration process.

In what capacity can I work with Academics in the UK?

Academics places Secondary, Primary and Special Needs teachers in UK Schools.  You will be working either as a contractor (i.e. paid by Academics) in a fixed term position or as a permanent teacher (i.e. paid by the School or Local Education Authority).

What is the difference between working as a Contractor or as a Permanent member of staff?

As a contractor you are paid an agreed daily rate, and your salary is paid on a weekly basis following submission of a completed timesheet.  As a contractor you are also in a position to register under a limited company agreement which allows you to offset a number of your work related expenses against tax and national insurance.  You can find out more about this HERE.

If you are appointed as a permanent member of teaching staff, or on a contract directly with the school, you will be paid monthly including holiday and sick pay. Under this type of contract, you are unable to offset expenses against tax and national insurance. Each type of contract has its own advantages, and you can discuss which option is best for you with your consultant.

I was trained as a teacher outside the UK. How can I increase my earning power in the UK?

Pay rates as a contractor are negotiable. The role and responsibility, your previous experience, the type and location of school you will be working in, and the length of the contract are just some of the factors that go in to determining your daily pay rate. It can be expected that the more UK teaching experience you gain or the more your role/responsibilities are increased, then the stronger position you are in to negotiate a higher daily pay rate.

If you are looking at taking up a permanent post, you will need to apply for and be granted British Qualified Teaching Status (QTS). With QTS, any previous overseas teaching experience will be taken into account when determining your pay scale. Without QTS, a school or Local Education Authority don’t have to recognise any previous overseas teaching experience if they don't wish too. 

What is QTS?

Qualified Teacher Status is an accreditation awarded to UK trained teachers after they have completed an initial period of training.  If you received your training/qualification outside the UK, you can work for up to 4 years in England and Wales as a temporary teacher without QTS. However, you must have QTS to take up a permanent position. 

Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and American trained teachers may be recognised as a qualified teacher and can apply for QTS in England.  However, you will still need to satisfy any visa and immigration requirements that may apply to you when wanting to work in the UK. 

Do I need to bring any additional documents with me from home if I wish to gain QTS?

Yes, you will need to attach to your application form, a letter confirming that you are both qualified and eligible to teach permanently in the country you were trained in.  Only letters from the recognised authority where you are a qualified teacher will be accepted.  You can obtain your letter of recognition from:

In Australia – A state or territory’s Department for Education or Teachers Registration Board.
In New Zealand – The New Zealand Teachers’ Council.

How much can I expect to earn as a teacher in the UK?

Teachers who work in London can expect to earn 10-15% more than those outside London (again this is determined by the type of position) to cover the higher cost of living such as transport and accommodation. For information on teacher pay scales and benefits in the UK click here.

Can Academics help me set up a UK bank account?

Yes, once you attend your Registration Interview in our London Office soon after your arrival, you will complete the necessary paperwork required to open your new bank account. Within 7 working days you should have your cheque book, ATM card and PIN number posted to you ready in time for your first pay packet!

I have a question about filling in my Visa or National Police Check application. Can Academics International help me?

Yes of course. Please contact our office in Australia for assistance on freecall 1800 75 24 84. We are happy to answer questions you may have during this process.

What sort of service can I expect to receive before I leave my home country?

Our International Office in Australia handles the majority of general enquiries with regards to teaching, living and travelling to the UK. Our teams of consultants in the UK are available to pass on their knowledge and advice to ensure you experience a smooth transition. This can be anything from helping you find somewhere to live, advising you on the curriculum in your subject, to some of the top places to visit around the world. This is a free service so do take advantage!

I have a teaching friend who is travelling with me. Can Academics assist them as well?

Of course! The majority of teachers working for the company come from the positive words spread by past and present Academics teachers. For your efforts, we will also pay you a £100 referral bonus ($250AUD) just for referring them on to us!  (Link to the Referral Rewards page)

How much money should I arrive in the UK with?

To apply for a Youth Mobility Visa, the British High Commission will ask you to provide a bank statement that indicates you have roughly AUD$3800-4000 in your bank account.  It is advised that you use this amount as a minimum to cover any upfront bond/rent you need to pay upon your arrival or even illness that prevents you from working right away.  Most landlords will require a bond of one month to 6 weeks along with your first month’s rent, so it’s important you plan for that before leaving your home country.

Regardless of the type of Visa you are applying for (or if you’re lucky enough to not require one at all), $4,000 is a good amount to work towards having in your bank account.

At what time of the year would the most teaching opportunities become available?

It is common for the majority of vacancies to start at the beginning of a Term, particularly Term 1 (first week of September) and Term 2 (first week of January). As schools generally have more time in which to interview and make suitable appointments for their teaching vacancies. Many schools are also more open to offering a position to a teacher prior to their arrival via a phone or skype interview. 

Having said that, we still place teachers in all sorts of roles mid way through a term, so if you’re thinking of taking a leap of faith and travelling to London anyway, we’ll do everything we can to have you in work soon after you arrive.

What is OFSTED?

OFSTED stands for the Office of Standards in Education, an independent and impartial organisation that reports directly the UK Government. It inspects and regulates the services which care for children and young people, such as education providers. OFSTED performs hundreds of school inspections every week and publishes the results on their website. For more information on OFSTED, visit ofsted.gov.uk.

I've been told that there are only 3 school terms in the UK academic year. If this is the case, how do the holidays work?

The school year is 39 weeks like in most countries with each term either 12 or 13 weeks long depending on when Easter falls. A half term break for one week is taken in the middle of every term, every six to seven weeks.

Two weeks are given at the end of Term 1 at Christmas and the end of Term 2 over the Easter break. The end of Term 3 marks the beginning of summer holidays, running from mid July to the end of August.

Can I expect to hear from the UK offices prior to my arrival?

Absolutely, our regional offices will be busily starting the recruitment process before you arrive, with the aim of having a post secured for you on arrival.  You will receive regular calls and emails to ensure they understand your requirements as well as to discuss potential positions with you.

If I get sick in the UK, what should I do?

Once you have found long term accommodation you should look at registering with a local GP. Healthcare in the UK is free and run by the National Health Service (NHS), but you do need to register before you get sick as it’s not always possible just to turn up. Most Commonwealth countries have reciprocal public health service with the UK so showing your Medicare Card or equivalent will suffice. It’s also a good idea to check out where your nearest Hospital is located with an Accident & Emergency Department should you ever need more urgent care. 

When I teach in the UK will I receive a Superannuation/Pension contribution from my employer?

Teachers who are employed as a contractor on a weekly timesheet basis do not earn a superannuation or pension contribution. This is already worked into your daily pay rate. Teachers who are employed as a permanent staff member (ie. paid directly by the school) will be entitled to a superannuation/pension contribution.

Those teachers who are not UK Citizens, have the option for their superannuation/pension to be included in their monthly pay. Those who decide not to take it as part of their monthly pay, will have a superannuation/pension contribution being made to the fund set up for employees of that school.

A teacher who has collected a superannuation/pension contribution can transfer this to their fund in their home country once they have finished working in the UK for the last time. Any superannuation/pension contribution must be transferred to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).

Academics have organised a phone interview for me with regards to a possible teaching opportunity. What steps should I take before the interview?

The Consultant who lined up the interview will speak with you directly to ensure you are well prepared and have covered all bases. To give you the best chance at the interview it is recommended you do some research. Firstly, check out the school’s website. Successful interviewees give clear and concise examples of good teaching work practice in answer to questions asked. Be honest and enthusiastic about the position being offered.

I feel like I have so many general questions about living and working in the UK, where do I start?!

Never fear, I bet we can answer all of them! Start by taking a look at further links on the ‘Useful Information’ section of our website.

Applicant Testimonials

08/12/2014
Denise - Primary School Teacher
Thank you Academics so very much for all your help - you have helped me so much, I really appreciate everything you have done....
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Kerri - Primary School Teacher
I arrived in London yesterday and it’s only been a day but so far I’m loving the area I’m in.  I’m really impressed with how efficient and fabulous Academics have been and I thank you both for ...
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Rebecca - Mathematics Teacher
I have just finished my two year contract at VISS and I wanted to thank you greatly for helping me obtain such a wonderful position.  You were instrumental in helping me navigate the employment ...
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Elise - Science Teacher
I have had the pleasure of working with both the Australian office and the UK office of Academics Ltd.  All staff members have been friendly, courteous, helpful and quick to respond. I have ...
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