Checklist for recruiting overseas teachers under the new immigration system from 1st January 2021

Please find a checklist for recruiting overseas teachers under the new immigration system.


As we transition towards leaving the European Union on 31 December 2020 schools workforce colleagues may find the following information helpful.

A checklist for recruiting overseas teachers under the new immigration system from 1 January 2021

1. DfE recording of the webinar:

2. DfE guidance about recruiting teachers from overseas:

3. DfE guidance about international recruitment of trainee teachers:

4. European Economic Area (EEA) teachers’ with sanctions

From 1 January 2021 the Teaching Regulation Agency will no longer maintain a list of EEA teachers with sanctions, so this check (undertaken by schools via the Teacher Services/Employer Access  route) will no longer be available. Instead, teachers will be asked to provide a letter of professional standing from the organisation responsible for regulating teachers in the country in which they qualified. Teachers who qualified in the EEA will be required to present this when they apply for Qualified Teacher Status in England.

The DfE guidance changes to checks for EU sanctions on EEA teachers from 1 January 2021 provides full details. More information on the process for applying for QTS is available at the ‘Applying for qualified teacher status (QTS) from 1 January 2021’ Gov.uk page.

5. Guidance on criminal records checks for overseas applicants

All other Safer Recruitment checks should continue and checks on EEA teachers will be included in the additional checks currently undertaken on other overseas teachers, alongside the DBS check. For further information read the Home Office guidance on criminal records checks for overseas applicants.

6. International teacher recruitment programme (ITRP):

  • ITRP supports schools to recruit STEM and MFL teachers from overseas. The key benefits are:
    • A supply of teachers who have been screened for safeguarding and quality
    • A free recruitment service from a DfE appointed recruitment agency
    • A fully-funded acclimatisation package and ongoing CPD and support during the teacher’s first year

Visit the International teacher recruitment programme section on the Government's website for more information.

7. International teachers and QTS

  • Teachers qualified in the EEA and Switzerland will still be able to apply for QTS after 1 January 2021.
  • The process will change slightly. These teachers will now need to provide a letter of professional standing from the organisation that regulates teachers in the country in which they qualified.
  • Teachers can find more details about this, and a link to apply, at the ‘Applying for qualified teacher status (QTS) from 1 January 2021’ Gov.uk page