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Teaching in the UK


The UK has a population close to 64 million, with around 8 million pupils either in primary or secondary education (c4.4 million at primary school and c3.6 million at secondary school). According to the last census there were over 24,000 schools in the British Isles. 


Education is a huge part of the British way of life, so is a constant concern and central part to each of the main political parties manifesto in the race to get elected. As recently as March, the shadow education secretary, Stephen Twigg of the Labour party, warned of a crisis in teacher numbers, saying a surge in pupils will leave schools short of 15,000 staff by the time of the next election in 2015. According to figures earlier this month from the Graduate Teacher Training Agency the number of postgraduate training entrants fell by more than 2,500 between the 2012 intake and this year, a drop of 6.3%. The falls are particularly large in some subject areas – 28% for computer science and 25% for religious education, for example.


Currently there are abundant opportunities for teachers who are looking for a new challenge away from their home country, in a brand new environment.


Over the last two decades, schools in the UK have enthusiastically adopted the ‘global teacher’ and the cultural enrichment they bring with them. Will it be different? Of course! But isn’t that what you’re here for? Teachers who come to the UK appreciate the exposure they get to a new curriculum, new ideas, new school policies and new teaching techniques.


The UK is a very multi-cultural society. Students are accustomed to having teachers from a variety of backgrounds teaching them. At first, you might find things more demanding – some overseas teachers find the UK lesson planning system quite onerous initially. However, the majority of teachers trained outside of the UK appreciate how straightforward the UK curriculum is and find they are able to implement unit plans effectively.


Schools in the UK are divided into Key Stages: Foundation Stage (pre-school; non-compulsory), Key Stage 1 (4 to 7 years old), Key Stage 2 (7 to 11 years old), Key Stage 3 (11 to 14 years old) and Key Stage 4 (14 to 16 years old). After Key Stage 4 students may choose to enter Post-16 / Key Stage 5 (16 to 18 years old), and possibly go on to Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE). In broader terms, there are two main categories - Primary and Secondary. primary school age is 5-11, and Secondary is 11-18 (although school leaving age is 16 if a pupil does not wish to complete their education to 18).


There are three terms to the UK academic year: Autumn Term (September – December); Spring Term (December – April) and Summer Term (April – July). Each term is divided into two, with a week-long half-term break in the middle. Christmas holidays are generally around two weeks long, and run from a few days before Christmas into the New Year. Easter holidays usually last about two weeks. There are several Bank Holidays (statutory holidays) throughout the year as well.


Here at Transition 2 UK we have partnered with Point to Point Education, who are based in Brisbane, and are one of the leading agencies in placing teachers from the Southern Hemisphere into the UK on long term contracts. Within their International Teaching division, P2P have experienced consultants who work quickly to match educators wanting to teach in the UK with clients wishing to recruit. 

Point to Point makes the process of education recruitment quick and to the point. There is no time wasted as their team is available 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

Globally, they will take you from one point to another; recruiting teachers who wish to teach abroad or filling teaching vacancies for schools across the globe. Once they have placed you into your role, Transition will help you open a bank account, help in settling into life in the UK and then run your payroll so that you retain more of your money with the least amount of hassle possible. 

So if you are currently thinking about using your skills abroad for a new teaching challenge, get in contact with P2P today to see what your options are! Please visit  for more details.  


“Working through Transition has allowed me to retain a higher percentage of my income and with a more professional approach than my previous supplier, happy to recommend.”

Alastair, London (NZer)

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