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Trying to make a teaching career in the UK as an international teacher.

Discussion in 'Overseas trained teachers' started by mhkhoja1, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. mhkhoja1

    mhkhoja1 New commenter

    Hey guys,

    So to start off, I am a teacher in Pakistan but have done a Bachelors and Masters from the UK, as well as A-levels and O-levels in Pakistan before uni.

    I started teaching primary school science in January 2018, and have thus changed jobs to teach Secondary level Mathematics and English Literature come August at another school.

    Starting with the immigration laws, currently Secondary Level Mathematics is one of the jobs in the shortage occupation list and thus an employer does not have to do a resident market test and has to just prove that my salary is above GBP 20,800 to qualify for a Tier 2 visa, which from what I understand is easily offered for secondary level mathematics.

    Talking about teaching in the UK, I am not a qualified teacher, I fell in to teaching by luck as the school liked my application and thought me suitable for the position. My education is in Engineering (BEng, MSc). I have been very confused as to how I should go about this. From what I have researched most teaching jobs will require me to get a QTS or be working towards one. What I am struggling with is what is the best way to go about this. I have considered doing a PGCE but there is a clause in the immigration law that a person having done a masters (NQF level 7) course from the uk can only do another course if its at a higher level unless the university can prove that the previous course and the new one align with the student's career aspirations. I have emailed a couple of universities to see what they think is possible considering my background but I wanted to know if I could qualify for a salaried teacher training route.

    Assuming I can find a school that pays over the minimum threshold for a visa, I was confused as to what my status would be for visa purposes, would I be hired as a 'Secondary Mathematics Teacher' or a trainee as I am sure the shortage occupation list specifies the former as an eligible position?

    What about other routes of coming to the Uk to teach? Will an Masters in Education also help in getting there in the end?

    I realize this is a long post, I have just been looking for answers and since the two departments that I am concerned with (immigration and education) don't seem to integrate well it's been very difficult getting the answers I need. So any thoughts or personal experiences shared would greatly help!
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Have a look here: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/explore-my-options/overseas-graduates
    and here: https://www.ucas.com/postgraduate/t...and/school-direct-salaried-programmes-england

    It's not clear if you're eligible for a place on a salaried course or not. You'd need to speak to universities about that, and the visa issue.

    However, eligibility and visas aside, you face an uphill struggle - the salaried PGCE is very competitive. Before applying for the PGCE course it's essential to have recently spent some time in UK schools, so that you can gain a better understanding of how schools operate in the UK - it's partially about understanding the curriculum, but more importantly you need to understand about school culture, the expectations on teacher, pupil behaviour, and so on. You would need to demonstrate on your application that you have done this, otherwise you will not stand a chance. Many people work as TAs, or volunteer, or at least visit a school for a few days, prior to application. I don't believe that there is a visa that would allow you to do this though. No PGCE provider would consider you without this.

    It would be beneficial for your application if you could demonstrate work experience with young people. According to what you've said above you have taught primary for 5 months, and from summer you'll be teaching secondary. Do you have any other experience working with young people?

    You'd need to relate your degree to maths, on the application, too. List modules taken, percentage maths related, and so on.

    All PGCE courses interview candidates before offering places. If interviewed you'd be asked about why you want to teach secondary maths. What would you say? Why teaching, why teaching secondary age, why teaching maths? You may also have to complete a GCSE paper, teach a lesson, have a discussion with other candidates about issues in education, and so on.

    You would also need to pass the ITT Professional Skills Tests (http://sta.education.gov.uk/) before commencing study; these can only be taken inside the UK.

    All state schools in the UK require their teachers to have QTS. Independent schools and academies don't require this, but they prefer qualified teachers. If you had a PhD it would be a different matter, but you don't.
    prakashdeeprai likes this.
  3. sakurabamboo

    sakurabamboo New commenter

    I’m in the same situation here: got my master from the UK already. Have you contacted your universities and what they have advised you? Mines told me it ‘should’ not be an issue as PGCE is a degree level course equivalent to postgraduate study. You can do a new course equivalent to your previous one but you have to address clearly in your statement why you choose the course.

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