News item

How can schools continue to recruit teachers from overseas after 31st December 2020?

5th October 2020

On 16th September 2020 the government published the guidance document Recruit teachers from overseas. The document covers how the  new points-based immigration system due to be implemented  from 1 January 2021 will change the way schools recruit experienced teachers who are not UK or Irish nationals.

All overseas nationals arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021, including those from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, will come under the UK’s points-based immigration system. Immigration routes will open later in 2020 for applications to live, work and study in the UK from 1 January 2021. Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter, work and study in the UK as they do now.

There are a number or available recruitment options for schools:

Become a licenced Home Office employer sponsor.

This will enable you to recruit overseas teachers who:

  • can speak, read, write and understand English
  • are to recruited to a role paying at least £20,480 or the relevant minimum rate for teachers in England, whichever is higher (minimum rates for teachers are on the Get into Teaching website) - if you work part time, pro-rata rates will apply as long as you earn at least £20,480 a year

For this the employing local authority, MAT or school must hold a licence. Licenced sponsors under the existing system will automatically be granted a licence under the points-based immigration system.

Schools can  check if they are already a licensed sponsor here. Schools can make an online application to  become a licensed sponsor by following step by step guidance here.

Recruit without becoming a sponsor

Under the new system schools who are not sponsors will be able to recruit teachers who enter the UK using certain visas:

  • Graduate Visa – this will be available to international students who have completed a degree in the UK from summer 2021. Individuals with a Graduate Visa will be able to work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for up to 2 years, or 3 years if you are a PhD graduate, this includes working as a teacher.
  • Youth Mobility Scheme Visa - This type of visa lasts for up to 2 years and is for young people aged 18 to 30 who have certain types of British nationality or are from certain countries. Teachers can work on this visa without a sponsoring employer.
  • Other Visas - Teachers on other types of visas (e.g. Family Visas or UK Ancestry visas) may also be permitted to work in the UK.

Recruit eligible staff who have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme

Any citizen of the EEA or Switzerland living in the UK by 31 December 2020 can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme until 30th June 2021. This will allow them to continue living, working and studying in the UK after 30 June 2021 without having to apply through the points-based immigration system.

Recruit via the International teacher recruitment programme

State-funded secondary schools and academies in England can get help from the international teacher recruitment programme to recruit experienced maths, physics, computer science, general science and modern foreign languages teachers from overseas. The DfE will fund recruitment costs, an acclimatisation package and an ongoing CPD programme during the teacher’s first year. Schools need to register with a DfE appointed dedicated agency who will provide support and advice with visa processes. Find out more here.

We  will be updating our web pages over the coming months as more information becomes available from the Home Office regarding the Points Based Immigration System.