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Do you want to use your teaching qualifications in a brand new environment?
Why not broaden your horizons in an English school?

Start dates: September, January, April.

Location: London, South Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Berkshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent.

Person specification: We’re interested in hearing from qualified teachers: Secondary teachers of any subject. Primary school teachers are also welcome to apply.

We understand that people are so much more than their qualifications, and always take cultural fit into account when we’re introducing teachers to English schools.

Relocation: Hourglass consultants are experts at facilitating international relocations for teachers. After step-by-step support during recruitment, interview and visa application, we provide structured help with relocation (including how to find affordable short term accommodation) induction to ensure candidates acclimatise and settle into their new role successfully and with confidence.

Eligibility: You can apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa if you’re aged 18 to 30 and you’re from Australia, Canada or New Zealand.

The Skilled Worker Visa is the main immigration route for non-UK resident workers. It is open to teachers of all nationalities of any age whose sponsor has offered them a teaching role in the UK. This route can lead to settlement and applicants can be joined by dependent partners and children.

Job Vacancies: We work with school leaders in both secondary and primary education. We are working on a wide range of vacancies for subject specialists within secondary schools, as well as qualified primary school teachers.

Interviews: You can expect your interview to be held by phone or video app. We will give you as much support as you need as you prepare for interviews.

Our specialist overseas recruitment team provides overseas teachers with dedicated support throughout the recruitment and relocation process.

We have over 20 years of international experience, and our overseas recruitment specialists are perfectly placed to support the needs and expectations of our teachers.

Our international team works with each candidate to ensure they are fully prepared to relocate with confidence.

Our client schools are looking for qualified secondary school teachers of the following subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Art and design
  • Computing
  • Design and technology
  • Geography
  • History
  • Modern foreign languages (French, German, Spanish)

We also work with leaders in primary education who require qualified primary school teachers.


On your marks!

When you have accepted the offer of a job in a UK school, we’ll start getting your paperwork in shape.

  • We’ll assess your personal situation – for example, will you be travelling with dependants? And we’ll make sure you have everything you need to apply for the police checks you need.
  • You’ll have access to our relocation resources, including views, tips and guidance from teachers who, a year or so ago, were where you are now.

Our support programme is thorough and carefully designed to give our teachers the tools they need to be independent in the UK.


Get set!

We know you’ll be keen to find out about your new school and the surrounding area.

  • We’ll be able to share insider information about the staff in your school, its character, and what you can expect there.
  • We can help you with neighbourhood research and weigh up the pros and cons about accommodation.
  • We’re committed to helping you plan your relocation and will give you a thorough breakdown of the visa process and a clear understanding of the timescales involved.
  • Wherever possible, we’ll put you in touch with other international teachers so you have a UK peer group before you even pack your suitcase. To date, this has included online message groups and virtual get togethers, but we’re always open to new suggestions!

Our support continues as teachers settle into their new role, and complements rather than replaces the teacher/school relationship.


We have brought literally hundreds of teachers to the UK, and have built up a wide range of go-to essential guidance designed to take the guesswork out of relocation.

  • We’ll be with you and your school at every step of the Certificate of Sponsorship and visa application process. We’ve seen just about every scenario you can imagine, and take them all in our stride.
  • You’ll have access to our relocation resources which cover everything from DBS checks to healthcare, personal banking and mobile phones.
  • You’ll be invited to a supportive induction session designed to help you settle in. You’ll be able to ask any outstanding questions and ensure you’re confident about your move.

When it comes to your living costs in the UK, accommodation can be expensive. It is difficult to estimate how much it will cost because rent can vary widely.

The cost of accommodation also varies according to your personal preferences. For example, initial accommodation in a 5* Hilton Hotel centrally located in town will cost you significantly more than a small family run guesthouse just down the road from school. Likewise a penthouse apartment on a riverside will cost you significantly more than a one bedroom apartment on the outskirts of town.

It is important to remember that teacher salaries in the UK do generally provide a good standard of living and are reflective of the cost of living in that area

Finding Temporary Accommodation

We always advise that you organise accommodation close to school initially. It will make your first couple of weeks much easier and enable you to concentrate on settling in at school and getting to grips with the curriculum.

When it comes to organising short term accommodation your consultant at Hourglass will help advise on a selection of options that would be close to the school. Unfortunately we cannot book for you but we will support you as much as possible.

The best websites we have found for finding initial accommodation are:


Finding Long Term Accommodation

There is a lot of competition for accommodation in London and the rest of the UK, both for renting and buying. We recommend that you visit the websites of real estate agencies to get a clear picture of the type and price of accommodation. Also, think carefully about the right neighbourhood for you. If you’re moving to London, keep in mind that it’s a crowded city and your daily commute could be stressful if you live too far away from your workplace or on an inconvenient route.

The most significant outlay will be your bond and first month’s rent. When leasing a flat or room in a flat-share bond can be up to 6 weeks rent and on top of that you will probably have to pay up to a month’s rent in advance. This could be as much as £3000+ in total depending on the type of property you are renting and the number of people in your family.

It is important that you take some time to research rental properties before signing any rental agreements. Most lettings are long term either six months or one year and most landlord’s will require between one and two month’s rent as deposit and one month’s rent up front so it is important you find a property you know you are going to be happy with.

Please do not book rental property before you arrive! In our experience it does not end happily. Most letting agent websites are very informative and do provide lots of photos, however, this is not the same as viewing the property in person and what you think you are going to find when you get there can be completely different. It is also important to take advantage of local knowledge. Talk to teachers at school and find out which areas you should look at for rental property and which they recommend you avoid. You also need to consider public transport routes in the area.

Feel free to make appointments to view any properties you are interested in for when you arrive as this will help speed the process of securing long term accommodation, but please do not confirm anything until you are here and have done your research!

The best website we have found for finding rental property are listed below, but your consultant will also help you with specific rental agents in the area you are relocating to:

Speak to colleagues at school because they may know someone who is looking to rent a property.

A great way to keep costs low is to house share. Find out if there are teachers at school who house share and if they have a room spare or if you are starting a school at the same time as another teacher then you can consider looking for a property to rent together.

As is the case with guesthouse accommodation, your Hourglass consultant will help with your search for a rental property but we cannot get involved with booking rental property or contracts.

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau is a reliable source of information for people living in the UK – the following documents provide information regarding tenancy agreements and renting property from private landlords:

You’ll probably have lots of questions if you’re considering teaching in the UK.

Most people are curious about the visa application process, the financial implications of relocating to the UK and of course, the level of support you can expect from Hourglass.

We have tried to answer many of the questions we receive on a regular basis, but if you require more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Why choose Hourglass?

There are a number of agencies who recruit overseas teachers to work in UK schools, but very few have experience like ours. We’ve been doing this for the past 20 years! During that time, we’ve developed tried and tested methodologies to deal with the intricacies of the relocation process. This includes an in-depth knowledge of the UK immigration system, as well as a full support and acclimatisation package.

We do not believe that ‘one size fits all’. Our first priority is to get to know you and your needs and preferences. This is the only way we can help you to find the perfect position in a school that suits you. Similarly, the support we offer as you plan to relocate will be tailored to your own requirements – we know that this is the best way to ensure you experience a seamless relocation.

Who will I be dealing with?

We are a close-knit, values-led team. Each one of us is committed to the quality of the service we offer to our candidates and schools.

Recruiting the best teaching talent from around the world is a real passion for our team leader, James Letven, and Claire Murphy, our Candidate Recruitment Specialist.

Meet the whole team here:

Will I be charged for the Hourglass service?

No – we don’t charge teachers for the service we provide.

What sort of visa will I need?

Any teacher who is not a British National wishing to work in England will require a visa. To gain entry for work in the UK, the majority of our candidates qualify for one of these three main visa categories:

  • Tier 5 – The Youth Mobility Scheme
  • UK Ancestry Visa
  • Skilled Worker Visa
I require a Skilled Worker Visa – what does the application process consist of?

Hourglass has good relationships with many of the schools who are licenced to sponsor international teachers. If you require Tier 2 sponsorship, you will need an offer of employment from one of these schools. When you have accepted your offer, the school will apply for and then assign a Certificate of Sponsorship. The sponsored teacher can then apply for their visa on the basis of this sponsorship.

My partner is also registered with Hourglass. Do we both need a Skilled Worker Visa?

Not necessarily, but this is up to you.

Your partner may qualify as your dependant. We can help you find out if this is the case. If your partner is deemed your dependant, there is no need for you both to seek sponsorship.

I have a partner but we are not married. Can they accompany me to the UK as a dependant?

In the immigration rules, the term ‘partner’ includes an applicant’s spouse, civil partner, fiancé/proposed civil partner or a person living with the applicant in a relationship akin to marriage.

A partner as defined above can be a dependant on your visa if you can provide sufficient evidence in line with UKVI criteria.

Dependants are not permitted on Tier 5 visas so this does not apply to the Youth Mobility Scheme.

How much will a visa cost?

There is a charge for each visa – including any dependant visas. You may also be required to pay fees associated with the visa.

Visa costs:

  • The Youth Mobility Scheme – £259
  • UK Ancestry Visa – £531 per person
  • Skilled Worker Visa

Shortage occupation – £464 per person

Non-shortage occupation – £610 per person

Check the cost of visas in any currency:

Can I book with my friend or partner?

Of course! We accommodate for singles, couples, or friends travelling together.

What is the Healthcare Surcharge?

You and your dependants are required to pay a Healthcare Surcharge (HS) which is a contribution to the costs of the National Health Service. This is a mandatory upfront cost which is paid as part of the visa application.

The Youth Mobility Scheme – £470 per year

Tier 2 General – Sponsorship of Skilled Workers – £624 per year

How much will my relocation cost?

The cost of the visa, the Healthcare Surcharge and the maintenance funds are not the only costs to consider.

You will need to have funds to cover the cost of your travel. Obviously, the cost of flights can vary according to availability, time of year, airline and route.

You will also need enough money to pay for your UK living expenses until you receive your first month’s salary. These will include accommodation costs, groceries, travel, etc. To secure a rental property you will need to pay one to two month’s rent plus the same amount again as a deposit up front. Your salary will be paid to you one month in arrears.

We strongly advise that you have a minimum of £3,500 to fund your first month in England. If you are relocating with dependants, your living costs are likely to be higher, and you should plan to have more money available.

What is the Healthcare Surcharge?

You and your dependants are required to pay a Healthcare Surcharge (HS) which is a contribution to the costs of the National Health Service. This is a mandatory upfront cost which is paid as part of the visa application.

The Youth Mobility Scheme – £470 per year

Tier 2 General – Sponsorship of Skilled Workers – £624 per year

How will I find accommodation?

Some teachers ask us to find them a role close to UK family or friends, and we’re always happy to help.

If you’re moving independently, we will support you and provide you with the information and contacts you need to make suitable arrangements. Unfortunately, we are unable to secure accommodation on your behalf. Everyone is different, and choosing accommodation is a very personal decision.

If you like, we will introduce you to other Hourglass teachers relocating to the same area. This has worked well in the past, and teachers have got to know each other – some have even shared accommodation.

What is Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)?

QTS is the professional accreditation for teachers in England and Wales. It is awarded by the Teaching and Regulation Agency

At registration stage we will assess your eligibility for QTS.

Some candidates can apply for QTS if they are eligible via the EU Directive or the Mutual Recognition route.

Alternatively, QTS can be obtained once you are teaching in the UK via an Assessment Only programme.

Is there anything I can do to prepare for QTS prior to relocating to the UK?

To enrol on an Assessment Only programme, you must ensure you can meet the entry criteria. This may involve applying to the UK national agency for international qualifications and skills (UK ENIC) for a certificate of equivalency.

When you have your UK ENIC certificates, you will know if you are eligible to apply for an Assessment Only programme. If you do not meet the entry criteria, you will be told how you can ‘top up’ your qualifications.

Please note: The Assessment Only route to QTS cannot be started until you are teaching in the UK, in a school that is willing to support you. You have four years from your first day teaching in England to obtain QTS and we advise that you do not start immediately. Your Assessment Only programme will include classroom observations, so it is important that you are settled in the UK, are familiar with the UK curriculum and have established positive relationships with your students.

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