Skip to main content


Q Is it possible to train and teach overseas, then become head of a school in England?


Providing you have qualified teacher status and are thus registered with the General Teaching Council and have the National Professional Qualification for Headship, I don't see why not. Once you have QTS, you should have the same opportunities as teachers who trained in the UK. There would be a snag if your permission to teach here was time-limited.

If you trained in a European Economic Area country, you could transfer your qualifications. If not, you would need to take a course for overseas-trained teachers (see Its duration would depend on the amount of training you need. The Training and Development Agency for Schools says the longest time you can spend on it is one year. If you feel you have skills and experience to meet QTS standards without training, you can apply for QTS by assessment only, but you need to understand the standards for QTS. Your training in pedagogy may be fine, but you may need to check your subject knowledge against the national curriculum.

Since you are applying for QTS from a teaching position, the school must have assumed you are sufficiently qualified to teach in the UK. If you have taught overseas, once you have QTS you can apply for more senior posts straight away. Even if you have been a head overseas, you will need to do the NPQH because by 2009 all applicants for headship must have it. I assume academies will be the exception if they choose to opt out. The NPQH rule would seem to bar anyone moving to a headship from beyond teaching unless they can achieve the qualification from outside sc l***

John Howson is a recruitment analyst and visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes University. To ask him a question, email him at askjohnhowson

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you