Overseas-trained Teachers

For an Overseas Trained Teacher (OTT) we can offer:

  • management of work permit applications and extensions
  • excellent induction programme and access to professional development programme and assessment for UK Qualified Teacher Status National pay rates plus London allowance sick pay and access to the pension scheme
  • paid school holidays
  • good transport links with easy access to main rail and international airports

Developed to support teachers from overseas who have decided to work in England. 

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Assessment Only (AO)

This is a self funded option for experienced teachers, which enables successful candidates to be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status.

Overseas Trained Teachers, who do not qualify automatically under rules introduced in April 2012*, are advised to consider the OTTP** instead. Candidates with at least two years experience of whole class teaching are eligible for assessment for exemption from induction in addition to assessment for QTS. The AO is a route to QTS only.

However, Overseas Trained Teachers who have taught in this country for more than four years are eligible only for the AO route. Candidates who have withdrawn from, failed or been turned down for other QTS routes will not normally be considered for the AO route.

Once accepted candidates are expected to qualify in one term. They must pass the QTS Skills Tests in order to complete Stage 2 of the programme. This programme involves support and visits from a Tutor which aims to ensure that candidates are fully conversant with the teaching standards and requirements for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

*OTTs from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA
Since 1 April 2012 qualified teachers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA can apply to the National College for Teaching and Leadership (previously the Teaching Agency) for qualified teacher status (QTS) without undertaking further training or assessment in England.

** The four year rule
The four year rule applies to teachers who qualified in countries outside of the EEA and Switzerland except for teachers who qualified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA. OTTs are allowed to teach in state maintained schools and non-maintained special schools in England as unqualified teachers for four calendar years. However, they are not permitted to teach in pupil referral units (PRUs) until they have been awarded qualified teacher status (QTS). An OTT is allowed to work as an unqualified teacher and the four year period begins on the first day the individual taught in a state maintained school or a non-maintained special school in England and expires exactly four years later regardless of whether the OTT has taught throughout the four year period.

Contact details

  • The Overseas Trained Teacher Advice Line
    Teacher Training Agency
    Freepost ANG 2037
    CM1 1ZY
  • Tel 01245 454 321
  • Fax 01245 454 337
  • Email ott@ttainfo.co.uk

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Work permits and visas

Work Permits (UK) issue Work permits for up to five years. Enquiries about work permits should be addressed to Work Permits (UK) on 0114 259 4074. For more information, see the Work Permits website (external link).

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Immigration enquiries

If you have a query about an immigration matter you will need to contact the the UK Border Agency (external link).

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Further Information

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Page last updated:

February 20, 2023

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