Frequently Asked Questions

How can we help you?

Do you only support teachers coming from overseas?

No, we support any candidate based in the UK or coming from overseas provided they have right to work in the UK, have comparable qualifications and are able to pass our vetting requirements.

What type of work opportunities are you able to provide?

We provide long term and short-term opportunities to candidates. It is up to you what you wish to look for. If you are looking for long-term work, we have many clients with positions lasting the whole academic year. If you prefer to work on a short-term supply or day-to-day basis, we are also able to assist you.

Do you only provide work opportunities for teachers?

No, we have many different school based roles that we are able to provide assistance with. This includes teachers, teaching assistant, classroom support and SEN roles.

I am coming from overseas. Do you help with the documentation I need to complete to arrive?

Although we cannot complete all the documents you need we will assist you every step of the way, providing help identifying and applying for the right visa and completing any safeguarding checks you need before you arrive. We also assist you once you are here, helping you to set up bank accounts and national insurance numbers.

I am looking for positions in the future and not right now. Should I still apply now?

Yes! Don’t feel you need to wait to apply. Even if you are not looking for work for another year or longer we will still ensure you are registered and receiving updates relevant to you.

Will I have a dedicated consultant who I can talk to throughout the process?

Yes! You will have a personal consultant who will answer all your queries and help you throughout the process. Even once you start work they’ll still keep in contact with you and be able to answer any questions that come up.

What are the term dates for the UK?

The UK academic year is divided into three terms – Autumn, Spring and Summer. This equates to approximately 190 teaching days with an additional 5 in-service school training days when staff but not pupils, attend. The schools also close for statutory Bank holidays. The term dates vary from one educational authority to another but approximate times are given below.
  • Autumn Term: From the first week in September to mid-December, with a one-week Half Term holiday in October and a two-week Christmas holiday in December
  • Spring Term: From January to Easter in March/April, with a one-week Half Term holiday in February and a two-week Easter holiday in March/April
  • Summer Term: From after Easter in March/April to late July, with a one-week Half Term holiday in May.

How do the Year Groups work in the UK?

The UK education system is divided into Early Years, Primary Education and Secondary Education. Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 are Primary levels, and Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 are Secondary Levels. Click here for the best place to start researching the UK Curriculum. While the website is intended for parents, it offers a great explanation and overview of the school system here, including the terms used for year groups in England, namely Key stages (KS).
YEAR-GROUP CHART
Ages
Key Stage
Type of School
Key Stage 1
Nursery/Infants
3-4
Foundation
4-5
Reception
5-6
Year 1
6-7
Year 2
Key Stage 2
Junior
7-8
Year 3
8-9
Year 4
9-10
Year 5
10-11
Year 6
Key Stage 3
Secondary
11-12
Year 7
12-13
Year 8
13-14
Year 9
Key Stage 4
Secondary – GCSE
14-15
Year 10
15-16
Year 11
Key Stage 5
Secondary – A levels
(not compulsory)
16-17
Year 12
17-18
Year 13

Do you have any more information on the Curriculum in the UK?

UK schools are divided into 2 Sectors – the State Sector, which encompasses non-fee paying schools, and the Independent Sector, which incorporates Private, fee-paying schools.
Secondary Schools include Academy, Foundation, Comprehensive and Community Schools which select students by catchment area. Some schools are co-ed, while others cater for all-girls or all-boys. Secondary classroom teachers usually work in a number of teams, including:
  • Subject-based department or faculty teams
  • Pastoral teams, usually based on year groups divided into forms (classes)
  • Form tutors are responsible for daily registration and every day pastoral matters
  • Cross-curricular teams, such as special educational needs or personal, health and social education.
Primary Schools include Nurseries, Preschool Playgroups, Infant Schools and Junior Schools. Primary classroom teachers usually teach one class exclusively, are responsible for that class’ academic and pastoral progress and teach all subjects. They may also lead the school’s development in a particular subject. Some schools encourage teachers to exchange classes so that they can teach their specialist subject. Primary teachers will be required to teach the National Literacy and Numeracy Framework.
  • A typical Literacy lesson would consist of approximately 15 minutes whole class shared reading or writing text work, approximately 15 minutes whole class focused word or sentence work, approximately 20 minutes independent reading, writing or word work while the teacher works with ability groups on guided reading or writing, and approximately 10 minutes whole class plenary of reviewing, reflecting, consolidating or presenting work covered in the lesson.
  • A typical Numeracy lesson would consist of approximately 5-10 minutes of oral calculation with the whole-class rehearsing and sharpening mental skills, approximately 30-40 minutes of main teaching input with pupils working as a whole class, in groups, in pairs or as individuals and approximately 10-15 minutes plenary with the whole class sorting out misconceptions, identifying progress, summarising key facts, making links to other work and discussing the next steps or work to be done at home.
Click here to have a look through the UK National Curriculum for the different year groups and subjects.  This site has the programmes of study and non statutory guidelines, attainment targets and notes, and links to online teaching resources for every subject. You will most likely notice that there are subjects listed in the curriculum that you do not have at home.  If you see something that you could teach, please let us know.

Do you have any information on Lesson Planning and Teaching Resources?

Having an overview of the curriculum is essential, but looking at specific lessons plans and teaching resources will also help you become more familiar with teaching in England. While most UK schools will provide you with lesson plans and resources, we recommend that you arrive at the school with some pre-prepared material that can easily be differentiated for all abilities.
Click here for Primary resources, and for Primary and Secondary levels you may find the TeachernetTeaching Ideas and BBC Newsround sites useful.

What is Ofsted and how does it work?

Ofsted is the UK government department that is responsible for standards in education in England. Ofsted’s remit is very broad, but in essence they are the government agency who inspect schools and produce a report on the standard of education delivered in schools. Schools are visited by a team of Ofsted inspectors for 2 to 4 days every 4 to 5 years. Besides observing lessons, they speak to the learners and examine paperwork relating to all school administration, including lesson plans. The Ofsted inspectors are looking for what is being done incorrectly or not being done, so while they do praise the positive aspects, there is a tendency for them to focus on the more negative aspects of a school. Ofsted uses a grading system from 1 to 4 to rate schools according to the findings of their inspections. Grade 1 is Outstanding, Grade 2 is Good, Grade 3 is Requires Improvement and Grade 4 is Inadequate. For more information about Ofsted, check out the Ofsted website.

Do you have any Behavior Management Tips?

Behaviour is best where there is a positive atmosphere, where learners feel safe, where incidents are dealt with swiftly and where the staff use a clear range of rewards and sanctions that are applied fairly and consistently. Effective teaching and good behaviour takes place when teachers plan lessons which take in to account different abilities, interests and learning styles. Impact Teachers would encourage you to:
  • Make yourself aware of and follow the school behaviour management policy
  • Get to know your students and ensure you take in to account their emotional, social and educational needs
  • Discuss expectations, rewards and sanctions with pupils and encourage shared ownership
  • Be prepared and organised – use seating plans, establish routines, be well-planned etc
  • Make your lessons engaging, relevant and be prepared to change pace and activities
  • Be flexible and prepared to adapt lessons if they are not bringing the best out of students
  • Be proactive and circulate around the room
  • Don’t ignore incidents or let events escalate
  • Use verbal and non verbal signals to control behaviour
  • Use humour, distraction and redirection to manage situations
  • Use positive reinforcement and be a good role model
  • Be firm but fair and apply rules consistently
  • Stay calm, control your voice and do not to lose your temper
  • Do not shout, or use sarcasm or ridicule
  • Think about your timings and allow adequate time for a plenary, setting homework etc
  • NEVER use physical punishment
An excellent source of online behaviour management tutorials can be found by clicking here.

How do I get a QTS and do I need it to work?

As a teacher from overseas and outside the EEA, you will be eligible to work in England as a temporary teacher without qualified teacher status (QTS) for up to four years.
The four year period commences on the day the teacher first worked as a teacher on England and expires four years later regardless of any breaks in teaching and irrespective of immigration status. In order to continue teaching after this four year period has expired, you must have obtained QTS and be registered with the National College for Teaching and Leadership.
Should you wish to pursue QTS, we would advise that you gain the support of a school during a long term teaching position. You should contact the Overseas Teacher training Programme (OTTP) who will be able to provide you with your own individual training and assessment programme which will ultimately lead to qualification to teach in England permanently. (Subject to visa status)
To pursue QTS you will need:
  • A qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree;
  • A qualification equivalent to GCSE grade C or above in mathematics and English
  • In addition, if you intend to teach primary or Key Stage 2/3 (ages 7-14) and you were born on or after 1 September 1979, you will require a qualification equivalent to GCSE grade C or above in science.
Any training delivered as part of the OTTP is tailored to the individual. As such, the length of the programme will depend on the extent of additional training you need. However, the longest you can spend on the programme is one year. The Standards are a rigorous a set of statements formally setting out what a trainee teacher is expected to know, understand and be able do in order to be awarded qualified teacher status and ultimately work as an effective teacher.
Standards are organised under three inter-related headings:
Professional values and practice
Outline the attitudes and commitment expected of anyone qualifying to be a teacher – e.g. treating pupils and students consistently; communicating sensitively and effectively with parents and carers.
Knowledge and understanding
Require newly qualified teachers to be confident and authoritative in the subjects they teach, and to have a clear understanding of how all pupils should progress and what teachers should expect them to achieve.
Teaching
Relate to the skills involved in actually delivering lessons – e.g. planning, monitoring, assessment and class management. They are underpinned by the values and knowledge covered in the first two sections.
To achieve the QTS Standards you will also need to pass skills tests in numeracy, literacy and information and communications technology (ICT). These tests are computerized and take place at more than 40 test centres throughout England.
If you feel your skills and experience are sufficient to meet all the QTS standards without further training, you may apply for QTS assessment only. This needs to be done at the same time as your application for QTS and is called ‘application for exemption from induction’. More information can be found by clicking here.
If you qualified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA and hold full registration in those countries you will be automatically eligible for QTS upon completing an application with the National College for Teaching and Leadership.  You will need to have ensured you have completed any statutory induction period in the state/province or country you qualified in.

What is a NQT?

Induction for NQT British-trained teachers follows initial teacher training and the award of QTS. For teachers wishing to continue teaching in maintained schools or non-maintained special schools this is a mandatory requirement. During the induction period new teachers have to demonstrate they have continued to meet the standards of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), and meet all the induction standards.
NQTs have an individualised programme of support during their induction year from a designated induction tutor. This includes observation of the new teacher’s teaching, watching more experienced teachers in different settings, and a professional review of progress at least every half term. It is the responsibility of the head to ensure that the NQT does not teach more than 90% of a normal timetable during the period, to allow their induction to take place. The head is responsible and will make a final recommendation as to whether the new teacher has passed or failed. There is a right of appeal to the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE).
You have up to 5 years to complete your statutory induction year if you qualified after 1st September 2007.  Prior to this date you had 16 months from the first day you begin supply teaching.

Are there Teacher Unions in the UK?

There are several teaching unions available in the UK and signing up with one is optional, but highly recommended. More information on unions can be found by visiting their web sites, including the following web pages:

Living in the UK - Survival Guide

Obtaining a National Insurance (NI) Number

National Insurance (NI) is automatically taken out of your pay by the British government. It covers entitlements to benefits including free healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS).
You will need to apply for a permanent NI number ASAP now that you’re in the UK. To read more about applying for an NI number, please click here. Alternatively, simply call 0345 600 0643 to speak to an advisor and book your appointment – ensure you have your address and personal details handy as they will ask you for these. Lines are open 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday.
Jobcentre Plus will then arrange an Evidence of Identity (EOI) interview for you, or send you a postal application. There does not seem to be any consistency as to whether they ask you in for an interview or do it via post. If you are asked in for an interview, they will confirm the date, time and location of your interview. They will also tell you what information and documentation is required to support your application.
What to expect at the ‘Evidence of Identity’ interview:
The interview will usually be one-to-one (unless, for example, you need an interpreter). You will be asked questions about who you are, why you need a National Insurance number, your background and circumstances. During the interview an application for a National Insurance number form will be completed which you will be asked to sign. You will also need to provide documents to prove your identity. A range of documents will be accepts, but they need to be originals, not photocopies.
What happens after the Interview:
If you were asked to provide additional information, you will need to do this by the agreed date. Jobcentre Plus will then write to you letting you know whether your application has been successful or not and notifying you of your National Insurance number where appropriate. However you obtain your National Insurance number, usually you’ll get a letter confirming your National Insurance Number. This may take up to 12 weeks from when you applied. The letter is a useful reminder of your National Insurance number but it is not proof of your identity and you don’t need to have one to start work – It’s your National Insurance number that’s important not the letter.
Please contact Impact Teachers and inform us your permanent NI number as soon as you receive it!

Opening a Bank Account

Both HSBC and Lloyds are able to set up accounts for people arriving from overseas as long as you hold an address.  You can request proof of address from your consultant to support your application for a UK bank account.

Mobile Phones

Typically your overseas phone will not automatically work in the UK or with a UK sim card because modern mobile phones tend to be ‘locked’ to a certain network by the original provider. You can pay for your phone to be unlocked upon your arrival in the UK.
There are several mobile phone providers in the UK with each one offering different rates and packages. You will need to choose the Pay-As-You-Go option when you first arrive, and will have the option to sign up for a fixed-term contract once you have been here for a few weeks and have built up a credit history in the UK. The Clapham Junction High street (St John’s Road) has several mobile phone providers.  Alternatively click here for an excellent mobile phone package comparison website.
The main mobile phone providers in the UK are: O2, Vodafone, Three, Virgin and EE.  Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U work with most phone networks and have a variety of phones and sim card options to choose from.

Transport and Travel

To get around the UK quickly and easily, you will have to become familiar with the forms of transport!
London has fantastic transport links, and is divided up into Travel Zones. There are 3 main types of transport:
  • The London Underground – also known as the Tube
  • Trains – Operated by National Rail
  • Buses
The Journey Planners on the Transport for London (TFL) website and the National Rail website will become your best friends, and there are also loads of free iPhone and Android Apps available to download to assist you in planning your journeys – be it by train, tube, bus, car or foot!
The Tube is a part of life for all Londoners and visitors to the capital – on average three million people use the Tube every day! The Tube operates every day from around 5:30am till Midnight and there are 270 Underground stations, so getting around London via Tube allows fast and easy access to the heart of the city. The Tube is categorised by 15 colour-coded lines, and all stations have maps on display, as well as paper copies.  For a tube map click here
The cost of Travel in London tends to be rather expensive, but there are multiple options available in order to be cost effective with transport. All travel on public transport needs to be paid for in advance in the form of one-way or return tickets, Travelcards, a pre-paid Oyster Card or a contactless Debit or Credit Card. Prices differ between the Zones and a breakdown of fares can be found online here. It is more expensive to travel during Peak times, which is before 09:30am and between 16:00 and 19:00. Off-Peak is anytime between these hours.
The cheapest way of getting around London if you are planning on making multiple journeys in one day is to use an Oyster card, Contactless Debit or Credit Card or buy a Travelcard.
Oyster Cards are a plastic blue swipe card that you pre-load with credit and swipe on yellow disks at the stations in order to gain entry and pay for journeys on all modes of public transport – trains, tubes and buses – within the London Zones. You can purchase an Oyster card for a small deposit (normally £5) at stations, kiosks and at shops which display the Oyster symbol. Journeys using Oyster are cheaper and also more convenient than buying travel tickets. You always need to swipe in and out for all Tube and Train journeys, even if there are no barriers. Click here for more information on Oyster. If you are travelling out of the London Zones you cannot use your Oyster and will need to buy a ticket before your journey.
Travelcards can be purchased for anything from 1 day to 1 year and are valid on all tubes, trains and busses within the zones that they cover. In most areas, you are able to get daily, weekly and monthly travel cards which are valid on local tube, train and bus networks. Travel cards often work out cheaper than paying for individual trips and they can be purchased at any station or newsagents.
Contactless Debit or Credit Cards can be used to pay for travel around the London transport network.  Contactless Fares are the same as Oyster card fares however you are not able to use a contactless card as a travel card.  You must swipe in and out for all Tube and Train journeys, even if there are no barriers.  You will need to watch out for Card Clash if you decide to use contactless payment cards.  For more information on using a contactless card for travel click here.
You can no longer use cash to travel by bus in London so it’s worth remembering that you will need an Oyster Card or contactless card to travel by bus around London.
Outside of London, there are a variety of links to use to help you plan your journey – for more information see the links here.
If you prefer using a hard-copy map book to Google Maps, The A-Z will prove an invaluable companion.

Healthcare

As a UK taxpayer you will have access to the free National Health Service (NHS). Firstly you will need to register with am NHS Doctor that is accepting new patients. Simply click here, type GP and your UK postcode into the search criteria, and it will bring up a list of NHS Doctors in your local area.
Walk-in clinics are also available in the UK or you can contact the National Health Direct 24 hour telephone service for free on 111. For more information, please visit the NHS Direct Website.
In case of an emergency, dial 999 for ambulance / police / fire brigade assistance or 101 to report a minor, non-emergency crime to the police i.e. those which do not require immediate, emergency or high priority response.

Accommodation

The key to finding your dream place to live is to Scout Around, Persevere, and Be Patient!!
The UK, and particularly London’s, rental market is very fast-moving and you will most likely need to look at a number of flats before you find the right one for you.  It is a good idea to look at a number of websites to get an idea of what areas you would like to settle, as well as what is realistic and available in your price range. Zoopla is a useful resource to find out about an area’s transport links and neighbourhood.
Be prepared to see tons of flats during your first weeks here.  Remember, this is going to be your home so it is worth spending time to find the right one. For further advice and information on the UK rental market, click here.
Remember that rentals usually require an initial deposit of 6 week’s rent. For private rentals, hold onto your deposit until you are handed over the keys!
We also recommend that you spend some time getting to know area the areas that appeal to you once you arrive – take a walk up the high street, have a meander around some of the back roads, have a drink in a local pub, calculate how long it would take you to get to the nearest form of public transport, be it a bus stop, train or tube station.
Useful websites for finding short-term accommodation:
Useful websites for finding long-term accommodation:
Useful websites for finding house-shares and flatmates:
Tips on Choosing your Accommodation:
  • When viewing the property, check to make sure the house is in good order and look for damp, mould and any other signs that have not been well maintained. Ensure the property is secure with sound window and door locks.
  • Find out what furniture is included with the rental and if you can redecorate, bring in your own furniture, or put pictures up etc.
  • If it’s a shared property, spend time with potential housemates before you sign.
  • Make sure all appropriate details are included in the tenancy agreement, such as how much you will pay and when, the length of the contract and the notice period. Be clear on which bills you have to pay, and what’s included in your rent, such as gas, water, electricity and Council Tax.
  • Agree on an inventory of the property with your landlord. It should have details of the property, the furniture and the condition of both at the point when you take up tenancy. If something is already broken, make sure this is noted.
  • Before your move, get a copy of the tenancy agreement, a receipt for your deposit and a receipt for any rent paid in advance.
  • If you are looking to settle and teach in and around London, we recommend that you consider accommodation within Zones 1 – 5 of the London Tube Map. Accommodation options in Zone 1 will be in the heart of the city and very convenient, but also rather pricey. For leafy green areas that are in fairly easy access to most of London, have a look at South West London, including Clapham, Putney, Southfields, Wimbledon, Raynes Park, New Malden, Earls Court and Shepherd’s Bush. Leyton, Lewisham, Highbury and Islington are less leafy but are conveniently located in terms of public transport options, and rentals tend to be very reasonable.

Bits and Bobs

  • England is packed with things to do and places to see! Join our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for regular updates on local events and sightseeing suggestions, but here are a few additional websites to inspire you:
  • Meet new friends who live in your area on www.meetup.com
  • The currency of England is the Pound. There are 100 Pence in each Pound. Paper money comes in £5, £10, £20 and £50 denominations, and coins come in denominations of £2, £1 and 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p
  • London runs on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and the clocks go forward to Daylight Saving Time from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October each year.
  • The Emergency phone number in the UK is 999
  • The international dial code for the UK is 0044 or +44
  • Cars drive on the left hand side of the road, so always look right first when crossing the roads
  • Tap water in England is safe unless there’s a sign to the contrary
  • Public holidays are called Bank Holidays in England – for the dates of these, click here.