Teach in the UK with Classic Education

For over a decade, Classic Education have helped hundreds of Primary and Secondary teachers relocate from Australia to the UK.  As a result, we know how daunting it can seem to relocate to the UK to continue your teaching career so we do everything we can to help you, every step of the way.  From our offices throughout England and Wales, we can find you your perfect teaching job, whether that’s a primary teaching job in the heart of London, or teaching in a secondary school away from the English capital, we can help.

As well as finding you the right teaching job in the right school, your Classic Education consultant will also be on hand to help you with any questions you have about the entire relocation process, from documentation needed, travel, and accommodation, to teaching in the English education system, or anything else you can think of.

If you’re keen to teach in the UK please take a look at our current jobs, or you can easily upload your resume, and let one of our expert consultants contact you to discuss the excellent teaching opportunities we can offer you here in the UK.

Guide to Getting Organised

With Classic Education, you could be having a Skype interview with a school for a teaching job in the UK in no time at all.  Therefore it’s important to make sure you’re getting everything in place to be ready for the move.  Follow this guide to being organised for teaching in the UK and to guarantee that all bases are covered, from starting your job search, right through to your first day in your new school.

1. Submit your CV online or contact our International Office in Melbourne. You will be contacted to discuss your plans in more detail, have your queries answered and to discuss current opportunities.

2. Apply for your Visa if you know the date you will be arriving in the UK. See our ‘Working in the UK – Visas’ section for information on how to apply and which Visa you can apply for. British or EU passport holders do not require a Visa to work in the UK.

3. On receipt of your Visa, book your flight to the UK. Heathrow Airport in London is the most common arrival point for long distance International flights to the UK.

4. Organise your Registration Interview. Call the team in the Melbourne office to inform them of your arrival date in the UK. You will then be given a date and time to meet with one of the friendly consultants in your nearest Classic Education office.

5. Organise all documentation that you are required to present in order to take up a teaching position in the UK. This includes teaching/education qualifications, police checks, written teaching references and passport/visa.  Providing written teaching references or performance appraisals from colleagues who have seen you in action strengthens your application for jobs and gives our consultants a much greater chance of securing the type of role that meets your desired criteria.

6. Get to know the UK Team. Speak with the UK based recruitment consultants prior to your departure to discuss current opportunities in London, the Home Counties, The North East or North West, South West, Yorkshire and the Humber or elsewhere, we have offices throughout England and Wales. Not only will this confirm that you are keen and eager to secure work, but will help you feel part of the Classic Education Team when you attend your registration interview and already know everyone in the office!

7. Attend your first interview!  Before you attend an interview with a school (in person or via skype before your departure), take the time to research the school and the local area. Visit the school’s website, look up the national curriculum in that particular Key Stage and Subject area, and try to become familiar with the different teaching terminology used in the UK. Your Classic Education consultant will answer any questions or concerns that you have.

8. Be completely prepared for your first day at work. If your job has been arranged prior to your arrival in the UK, ensure you have all relevant details regarding the post, including date and time of commencement, who you should report to, full address and details on how to get there by public transport etc.

9. Organise your initial accommodation. Now is the time to ensure you have somewhere to stay as soon as you arrive in the UK, particularly for the first week.  This period will be an exciting and busy one so ensure you’re not spending all of your time trying to find somewhere to sleep!

Finally.......throw yourself a Farewell Party! Celebrate the beginning of your UK adventure with your family and friends!

Before You Travel


Teachers that do not hold either a UK or an EU Passport will require a visa in order to live and/or teach in the UK.  (If you wish to enter the UK as a tourist, you can do so for up to 30 days without a visa.

There are different types of visa which may be available to you.  A brief overview of each is provided below;
To complete a Visa application, or for more detailed information visit gov.uk/apply-uk-visa

Types of Visa

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS)
As of the 27th November 2008, Commonwealth Citizens are now eligible for the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa. It allows young Australians and New Zealanders between 18 and 30 years of age, to work in the UK for the entire 2 year period of the Visa.
Applicants will need to prove they have sufficient funds available to them at the time of applying. As a guide, you will need at least $3800AUD in your bank account to apply for this Visa.

Children (those under 18 years of age) are allowed entry to the UK as dependants, and are required to make their application at the same time as the main Visa applicant.  However, if you are travelling on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme, you are NOT permitted to have dependants travel with you.
the UK, you may then be in a position to apply for permanent residency.
More information - gov.uk/ancestry-visa/overview

Settlement Visa
The Settlement Visa is for candidates who are married to, are planning to marry, or are in a long term Civil Partnership with a British Citizen (or someone who has permission to live in the UK permanently). It is issued for 2 years, and after that period you may be entitled to apply for permanent residency in the UK.
More information - gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/settle-in-the-uk

Right of Abode (Certificate of Entitlement)
All British Citizens automatically have the Right of Abode, meaning they can live and work in the UK with no immigration restrictions. If you can prove that one of your parents was born in the UK, you also have UK Right of Abode. In this case, you will need to apply for a Certificate of Entitlement.
More information - gov.uk/right-of-abode

Tier 2 (Skilled Migrant Visa)
The Tier 2 Skilled Migrant Visa is an entry visa for skilled workers who are citizens of countries outside the European Economic Area. To apply for entry to the UK under this scheme, you must be in possession of a job offer, and have a Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK employer. In this case, the offer of employment must be from a school or Local Authority and not Classic Education.
More information - gov.uk/tier-2-general

Tier 4 General Student Visa
You may enter the UK on the Tier 4 General Student Visa if you have been offered a course placement and you have sufficient funds to pay for that course and to support yourself while you are in the UK. You are entitled to work, however there are restrictions to the number of hours you can be in paid work whilst travelling on this type of Visa.
More information - gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa

Records and Personal Papers
In addition to your passport and visa, you will need other documentation to establish your identity, applying for licences, pay taxes and working. It is advisable to have the original and multiple certified copies with you and keep them close to hand rather than having them shipped. Documents it is advisable to have to hand are:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Driving Licence
  • Passport Sized Photographs
  • Medical Insurance Cover
  • Travel Insurance Cover
  • Dental/Medical Records
  • Property and Motor Vehicle Insurance Records
  • Bank Account Information
  • Qualification Records
  • Criminal Clearance Documents
  • Belongings

As you are travelling a long distance, you will probably want to keep your baggage to a minimum. Most rented accommodation in the UK is furnished except for towels and bedclothes but these can be bought cheaply in the UK.  A good coat is essential for the British winter and smart, professional clothes will be required for interviews and for teaching in schools. If you have a mobile phone, check if it has international roaming and can be used in the UK and Europe. This could however be costly, which is why we can provide a UK Pay As You Go mobile phone with £10 credit.  Alternatively, we can provide a PAYG SIM card for your existing phone.

Driving Licence
An international driving licence is necessary if you are intending on driving a car and these are obtained from most AA branches around the world. Visit www.dvla.com for more information on licences and transfers.  International Driving Licences are not accepted by a large number of car rental companies in the UK so beware.  It is recommended by the DVLA that you apply for a UK licence after 12 months in the UK.

Working in the UK

There are 3 main contracts types which are suitable for candidates who are relocating to the UK, all of which have their own advantages, but what is best for you is often down to your own personal circumstances. Your Classic Education consultant will work closely with you to establish the best options based on your preferences.

The main differences between the contract types are;

Permanent Contract

  • Employed directly by the school
  • Same terms and conditions as permanent UK teachers
  • Typical notice period of 7 weeks or more
  • Monthly salary
  • No ability to offset expenses in order to increase take home pay

Long Term Contract

  • Typically 12 months with an option to extend or become permanent
  • Notice period of a minimum of 4 weeks
  • Paid weekly
  • Ability to offset expenses and significantly increase you take home pay

Guaranteed Pay Scheme – Multiple Schools

  • Offered for up to 12 months with an option to extend
  • Multiple short term assignments in different schools
  • Greater flexibility on work patterns
  • Paid for a minimum of 3 ½ days per week (during term time)
  • Paid weekly, with a notice period of 4 weeks
  • Ability to offset expenses and significantly increase your take home pay
  • Tax Efficient Payroll Solution

When you work on contract in the UK through Classic Education, you will be able to claim work related expenses, and offset these against your gross weekly pay, therefore enhancing your take home pay considerably.

For candidates who have relocated to the UK, these expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • The cost of accommodation and utility bills
  • Travel back home to visit family and friends
  • Food and subsistence costs whilst working
  • Professional work related subscriptions
  • Travel to and from assignments

If you are eligible to claim expenses as a non UK national, it could work out that by offsetting these expenses, you could receive up to 45% of the cost back through tax relief in your salary.

Arrival in the UK

Try to have a plan for what you will do on arrival in the UK. If you are arriving into a London Airport they are generally serviced by the Tube so ensure you have a map (www.thetube.com) and the address of where you are staying to hand.

We can also arrange pickup from the airport, and provide you with transport to your accommodation (which can also be arranged by Classic Education for the first 2 nights).

Money Matters

The British currency is the pound. Notes issued are: £5, £10, £20 and £50. Visa and MasterCard Credit and Debit cards are accepted at most cash dispensers and these can be a cheap way of obtaining British currency because they generally work on a good exchange rate. Check with your own bank first as there will be a maximum amount that you can withdraw in this way.
Travellers’ cheques can be changed at banks, building societies, larger post offices, travel agents, bureaus de change and large supermarkets. Be careful, as some charge more than others!

Opening a bank account in the UK can be difficult without proof of address from the UK or any credit history in the UK.  A letter from your bank and/or a sequence of recent bank statements from your home country will help, and Classic Education can assist you in opening a bank account easily.

The transport system in the UK is extensive with trains and buses linking all major cities and towns. Airports are dotted all over the country and access to these is very good. The Tube (or Underground) in London is the most convenient and efficient way of commuting around the capital, as traffic can be a problem. Oyster Cards are a cost effective travel pass which you can buy for regular use on the tube. For more information visit the Transport for London website.

The UK has a large second hand car market and if you shop around good bargains can be found. All cars need to have car insurance, road tax and an MOT (Ministry of Transport) certificate before it is allowed on the road.autotrader.co.uk is a worthwhile site to visit if you decide the purchase of a car is necessary. A reasonable car can be purchased for under £600. You may also wish to carry out a status check on any second-hand car to ensure that it has not been involved in any major accidents or that it does not have any outstanding finance, as this is linked to the car rather than the owner. (These can be completed online using the car registration and chassis number.)

In all cases an A-Z map of your local area is essential, particularly in London. These can be purchased at most bookstores, garages and local shops. If you have online access, journeyplanner.gov.uk and streetmap.co.uk are useful websites for finding your way around.

Taxis are generally easy to come by.  In many cities you will see the familiar black cab, which will stop if you hail it in the street. A mini cab cannot stop for you on the street but will need to be pre-booked or collected from a taxi rank. Beware of unlicensed mini cabs especially in bigger cities - many of these drivers have no licences, no insurance and their cars may not be roadworthy. Always be suspicious of very low fares and check if the driver has registration documents in their cab.


In an emergency, healthcare is free in the UK and the standards are the highest in the world. General taxation funds the National Health Service (NHS). There is a shortage of NHS doctors, especially in London and it may be difficult to find a practice that has space for you. The easiest way to contact an NHS GP is at nhs.uk where you will find a list of names and numbers to contact in the area you will be living.  You will need to register with a doctor in advance in your local area as the majority do not accept walk-in cases and those who do, generally have very long waiting times.  Dentists are not free but some are subsidised by the NHS. You will need to register with a dentist as with your GP.


For short term accommodation there are hostels, bed and breakfasts, hotels and friends’ couches! This will be expensive (except for the couch) and not suitable for long periods of time. The Internet is a good tool for accessing this type of accommodation. Some useful websites are detailed below:


Finding more permanent accommodation will depend on your budget and where in the country you want to live. London is more expensive than the rest of the country but generally the nearer you live to a city, the more expensive the accommodation becomes.

You will be able to choose from a wide range of agents and companies who can help with renting and/or buying a property. Renting a flat before you arrive is not recommended so it may be necessary to book into temporary accommodation for a couple of days to find your feet and take it from there. Rented accommodation is very common. Apartments, flats and studios of different descriptions are available countrywide either for an individual or shared.

A 3 bed flat in London could cost up to £1000+ a month (shared amongst flat mates of course) although it does depend in which part of the city you live.  In rental situations, it is customary that credit checks and references are carried out before a tenancy agreement is signed. Once you are successful, the initial rental period will be for approximately 6 months and then it is extended if needed. On signing this agreement, a deposit will be necessary which usually comprises of 4-6 weeks rent. This deposit is refundable on leaving the property and used by landlords to safeguard the property against damages and breakages. A month’s rent in advance is also standard procedure. This is an expensive process so you must ensure that you have enough money to cover your initial costs.

You will also have household bills for council tax, gas, electricity, water and telephone accounts. When sharing a property, the bills will be shared by each tenant and this will keep your expenses down.

Tax and National Insurance
All teachers in the UK are subject to tax on their earnings and must also make a contribution to National Insurance. The UK has a staggered tax system - the more you earn, the higher the tax rate.
On starting work in the UK you may be issued with a temporary National Insurance number which will allow you to begin work. This number will usually begin with TN followed by 6 digits (your date of birth ddmmyy) followed by M or F depending on your gender.
Classic Education will ensure you have all of the relevant forms and numbers in place and will recommend the most suitable payment methods dependent on your circumstances when you arrive.


Nearly all supply teachers in the UK have a mobile phone so you can easily be contacted and to help organise your social life. It can be difficult to arrange these on a contract basis but ‘PAYG” (pay as you go) can be a cost effective option when you initially arrive. Although the phone purchase may be more expensive at first, you can budget your calls and top up your credit at any local newsagents or shop. Phone providers include Orange orange.co.uk, T Mobile t-mobile.co.uk, Vodafone vodafone.co.uk, O2 o2.co.uk, and Three three.co.uk. If you already own a mobile phone it may be worth checking with your service provider for cheap international calls (from land lines), there are lots of deals to be found. A call to Australia should cost no more than 4p, New Zealand 5p, South Africa 10p and Canada 4p per minute, so make sure you shop around. Phone cards are available for overseas calls from most corner shops and newsagents and these have competitive tariffs.

Internet Access

There are plenty of Internet cafes in larger towns and cities. Many local libraries offer free internet access and general computer usage, as well as computer courses. Easy Internet Café is London’s cheapest and best-known chain of internet stores. For your nearest store, visit easyinternetcafe.com.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in the UK can vary depending on where you are living. The costs in London and some of the larger cities like Manchester and Kent can be more than in other areas and this can be hard when you first get to the UK and your savings start to disappear. The following is a list of the approximate price of everyday items:

  • Pint of Milk 70-80p
  • Loaf of Bread 70p - 90p
  • Ready made meal £3.00 - £5.00
  • Can of Coke 80p
  • Chocolate Bar 60p
  • Apples each 40p
  • Bananas each 20p
  • Pint of beer (in a Bar) £2.00 - £3.00
  • Bottle of Wine (in the supermarket or Off Licence) £3.00 - £7.00
  • Newspaper 25p -50p
  • Cinema Tickets £8 - £11.00
  • Nightclub entry £10 - £20
  • CD £10 - £15
  • Haircut £10 - £20 (males) or £20 - £70 (females)
  • Internet access 50p + depending on time
  • Approximate costs of other items to budget for (they will vary depending on your location and how many people you live with):
  • Utilities (Water, Gas, Electricity) – £10 per week talkingcities.co.uk
  • Council Tax – £15 per week
  • Transport – Using an ‘Oyster Card’ will allow you to purchase a weekly ticket for approximately £35 and allows travel on all trains and buses in London.
  • Television Licence – £140 per year (yes, you need a licence to get access to TV airwaves in the UK!)
  • Social Costs – only you know how often you like to visit the local pub or eat in fine restaurants!

Keeping Fit

There are gyms all over the country with varying facilities dependant on the area. To join a gym there is generally a monthly membership fee from £30 (depending on the type of membership and facilities available) and you will need a bank account and proof of permanent address in the UK.

Things To Do

The UK has plenty to offer its visitors. It is advisable to take a few days out to allow you to get over the inevitable jet lag. The sites below will provide some information on what UK cities have to offer.


UK Curriculum

The Structure of the English School System

In England, children must attend school from the age of 5 to 18 and many extend their education beyond 18 by entering university or college.

Primary Education

State pre-school education is available for children aged two to four/five through playgroups and nursery schools. The emphasis is on group work, creative activity and guided play.
Compulsory education begins at five in England and Wales. At primary level, there is little or no specialist subject teaching and there is great emphasis on Literacy (English) and Numeracy (Maths).

Secondary Education

The majority of state secondary school pupils in England and Wales attend comprehensive schools. These schools provide a wide range of secondary education for children aged 11 to 18, of all abilities, from a particular district (Local Authority area). At secondary school, teachers teach specialist subjects in addition to many cross curricular subjects such as Literacy, Numeracy, Citizenship, ICT and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE).

The National Curriculum in England and Wales

In England, there is a National Curriculum for all state educated pupils. It sets out a clear, full and statutory entitlement to learning for all pupils. It determines the content of what will be taught, and sets attainment targets for learning. It also determines how performance will be assessed and reported. From September 2002, the National Curriculum has included citizenship as part of the statutory curriculum for secondary schools.

In the late 1990s, the government launched National Numeracy and Literacy strategies. The aim of these strategies is to raise standards of primary school pupils in these key skill areas. If you intend to teach primary school pupils you will need to ensure that you are familiar with the requirements of the strategies. The curriculum defines four ‘key stages’, and ten statutory subjects:

  • Key Stage 1 – up to age 7 (school year group 1 and 2)
  • Key Stage 2 – 7 to 11 (school year groups 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  • Key Stage 3 – 11 to 14 (school year groups 7, 8 and 9)
  • Key Stage 4 – 14 to 16 (school year groups 10 and 11)
  • Key Stage 5 – 17 to 18 (school year groups 12 and 13)

Key Stages 1 and 2 are the Primary phase, and Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 constitute the Secondary phase. There are 3 ‘core’ subjects, which are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science

NB. In Wales, Welsh is a core subject area in Welsh speaking schools
There are 10 other ‘Foundation’ subjects which are:

  • Design Technology
  • History
  • Geography
  • Music
  • Art and Design
  • Physical Education
  • A modern foreign language – French, Spanish, German, Italian
  • ICT
  • Citizenship

NB. In Wales, Welsh is a foundation subject in non-Welsh speaking schools

All children in Key Stages 1 to 3 must study the first 9 of these subjects. In Key Stage 3, they must also study a modern foreign language. Pupils aged 14 to 16 must study the core subjects, technology, a modern foreign language and physical education, plus either history or geography or short courses in both.

For more information please visit the National Curriculum online at www.nc.uk.net or the National Curriculum in Wales online at www.accac.org.uk.
Programmes of Study (PoS)

Programmes of study set out what pupils should be taught in each subject at each key stage, and provide the basis for planning schemes of work. In each subject, in each key stage, the PoS sets out the following:
Attainment Targets
An attainment target sets out the knowledge, skills and understanding which pupils of different abilities and maturities are expected to have by the end of each Key Stage. The attainment targets consist of level descriptors of increasing difficulty, plus an additional description for exceptional performance.
Each level description describes the types and range of performance that pupils working at that level should characteristically demonstrate. The descriptions provide the basis for making judgements about pupils’ performance at the end of Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. At Key Stage 4, national qualifications are the main way of assessing attainment in NC subjects. To find out information about your own specialist subject and the requirements of the National Curriculum in this area, please visit the National Curriculum website at www.nc.uk.net.

Tests and Examinations

At the end of Key Stages 1 – 3 English, Maths and Science (Science from KS2) are tested formally by National Tests called SATs (Standard Attainment Tests).  All the other subjects are teacher-assessed.

Between 16 and 18, students can take Advanced Subsidiary (AS-Level) or Advanced Level (A-Level) exams – academic style courses in a wide range of subjects often leading to university entrance, or General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ) which are more technical or practical vocational qualifications in subjects such as Leisure and Tourism or Business Studies.


The government is committed to promoting inclusion in all schools.  Where parents want a mainstream setting for their child with special educational needs, the policy is to try and provide it.  Equally, where specialist provision is sought, it is important and right that parents’ wishes are respected.  The key objective is to safeguard the interests of all children and to ensure they achieve their full potential.

Numeracy and Literacy

The government has put in place two strategies designed to raise standards in all primary schools in England.  Frameworks for teaching literacy and numeracy have been published to support these strategies.  Two hours per day have been dedicated to working on these areas and it is compulsory.

Workforce Strategy

The government has introduced a workforce strategy for employed teachers to ensure they have a good work life balance.  This strategy includes a 38 hour limit per year for covering other staff and 10% of timetabled teaching time to be set aside for planning, preparation and assessment of lessons (PPA time).

Useful Websites

www.dfes.gov.uk - This is a huge site covering anything and everything to do with education, from ministerial circulars to day-to-day lesson plans. A very useful starting point, especially for curriculum content.
www.schoolsnet.com - This site offers a range of free online resources, including a guide to 11,000 of the best educational sites. Mindblowing!
www.primaryresources.co.uk - Definitely worth a visit! Loads of really great resources for ALL subject areas.

Client Testimonials

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As a School we have worked closely with Amy for approximately 10 years now. She has always fully understood the calibre of staff we expect and has been able to provide us with numerous supply in ...
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Classic Education always provide an efficient and effective service with a quick response to our phone call, thorough safeguarding procedures and quality assurance through regular requests for ...
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After changing over to Classic Education I have found that every teacher we have been provided with has turned out to be professional, efficient and extremely capable. I have found the process of ...
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