But the decision may have come too late for many overseas teachers who have already been dismissed by their schools, pre-empting the changes. The NUT is already dealing with 172 cases of teachers who have faced the sack or redundancy over the proposed reform.
The Government had warned that from September, teachers from overseas would not be allowed to work for more than four years without qualified teacher status. In the past they could continue as unqualified teachers as long as they had joined the overseas trained teacher programme.
After pressure from the National Union of Teachers, the Government has agreed to delay the introduction of the four-year rule until August 2008.
The union celebrated a double victory this week as the Government also yielded to its pleas to give teachers an extra inset day next year to prepare for the new secondary curriculum.