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NZ to UK: A Comprehensive Guide to Teaching in the UK for Kiwis

Mohamed Diallo
22 Nov 2023
5 min read
NZ to UK: A Comprehensive Guide to Teaching in the UK for Kiwis

Teaching in the United Kingdom (UK) can be an exciting opportunity for educators from New Zealand. The UK offers a world-class education system, competitive salary, and a plethora of professional development opportunities. This article provides a comprehensive guide for Kiwi teachers looking to make the leap.


Teaching in the UK can offer an enriching experience both professionally and personally. The UK's education system is renowned globally, providing ample opportunities for career growth and development. From England to Scotland, Wales to Northern Ireland, the UK's diverse cultural landscape offers a unique teaching experience.

Benefits of Teaching in the UK

Teaching in the UK – as a supply teacher or otherwise – comes with numerous benefits, including a competitive salary, professional development support, and varied job opportunities. Additionally, non-UK citizens interested in teaching languages or physics could be eligible for an international relocation payment worth £10,000.

Competitive Salary

Teachers in the UK earn a competitive salary that reflects their skills and contribution to the education system. The exact salary varies depending on the location and the teacher's level of experience.

Professional Development

The UK education system offers robust support for teachers' professional development, allowing them to continuously improve their skills and expertise.

You can find great support for professional development with Zen Educate.

Varied Job Opportunities

The UK has a diverse range of schools and education institutions, offering a variety of teaching roles. Whether you're interested in primary, secondary, or special needs education, the UK has a place for you.

Eligibility and Requirements

If you're already a qualified teacher, you do not need to retrain to teach in the UK. However, there are some requirements you must fulfil, including:

  • Applying QTS or demonstrating strong non-UK qualifications and experience
  • Passing criminal and professional safeguarding checks
  • Having a visa or immigration status that allows you to work in the UK

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

QTS is the professional status teachers in England gain at the end of their teacher training. It's a measure of a teacher's skills and experience and is often required by schools in England.

If you're a qualified teacher in New Zealand, you can work as a teacher in England for up to 4 years without QTS. After that, you will need QTS to teach in many schools in England.

How to Apply for QTS: If you have a teaching qualification from certain countries and regions, you can check if you meet the requirements for QTS and apply. The process is straightforward, and you won't have to pay a fee or undergo additional training.

Visa Information

To teach in the UK, you'll need a visa or immigration status that allows you to work in the UK. The specific type of visa you'll need depends on your circumstances, but common options include the Tier 5 – Youth Mobility Scheme, Ancestry Visa, or a Skilled Worker Visa.

Skilled Worker Visa

A Skilled Worker Visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. Teaching is considered a skilled role and is on the list of eligible occupations.

Finding a Teaching Job

First, choose where to look for teaching jobs. There are loads of options, some much better than others.

Life as a Teacher in the UK

Many teachers who qualified outside the UK settle in England long-term and develop rewarding careers in teaching. There are lots of antipodeans from all over Australia and New Zealand, particularly in London, and the vibrant, varied scenes around the UK will make you feel welcome and comfortable.


Teaching in the UK provides a unique opportunity for Kiwis to expand their horizons and work in one of the world's leading education systems. With the right qualifications, visa, and a willingness to embrace a new culture, teaching in the UK can be a rewarding and fulfilling career move.

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