Teaching in London as a South African Teacher

Teaching in London as a South African Teacher

With two dedicated South African teacher consultants on our team, we thought we’d dish out our quick guide on what you need to know about Teaching in London as a South African trained teacher.

Jason and Brandon, the brother-duo from Durban, work in The Supply Room’s Wimbledon office and are fast building an excellent reputation for the service, advice and care they offer South African Teachers.

“The Supply Room employees are super helpful and efficient. I managed to get the first job I applied for while still living in South Africa! The staff are friendly and eager to help. I would highly recommend them to other teachers!” – Cayley Stead, Former Teacher from Johannesburg (Google Review)

Let’s dive in…

1. Enhanced UK DBS (Police Clearance) and a South African Police Clearance

In the UK, the Disclosure and Barring Service are responsible for issuing DBS certificates (UK Police Certificates). The Supply Room will process a DBS for you during the registration process. You will also need to provide a police clearance from any country you have spent more than three consecutive months in, in the last five years – Jason and Brandon can offer you full guidance on how to obtain overseas police clearances. 

If you are currently abroad and plan on relocating to the UK to teach, your overseas police clearance will need to be dated within three months of your arrival date.

2. Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for South African Teachers

As a Qualified Teacher from South Africa, you will not qualify for automatic QTS via the UK Teaching Regulation Agency. 

But that’s nothing to worry about right now. We’ll still be able to help you find a teaching role as an “Overseas Trained Teacher (OTT)” so you can start working and earning immediately. 

Once you are settled in and working as an OTT, we can explore various options to gain QTS and help you decide which route is best for you.

QTS must be obtained within four years from the first day you start working in the UK as an OTT.  With our main office located in a teacher training college, we can assist you on obtaining QTS via the Assessment Only Route.

3. The National Curriculum

What is the National Curriculum?

State schools in England must teach a range of subjects according to targets set by the National Curriculum. This was established in 1989 to ensure the same standards of teaching and learning across the nation. The National Curriculum is divided into four key stages that children complete during their school life. Targets defined in the National Curriculum are assessed at the end of each key stage.

Key Stage 1 (KS1): Year 1 and Year 2 (Ages 5 to 7)

Key Stage 2 (KS2): Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 (Ages 7 to 11)

Key Stage 3 (KS3): Years 7, 8 and 9 (Ages 11 to 14)

Key Stage 4 (KS4): Years 10 and 11 – GCSE (Ages 14 to 15)

Core and Foundation Subjects

There are three core subject areas for Key Stages 1 – 4: Literacy, Numeracy and Science.

There are several foundation subjects including:

    • Design and Technology
    • Computing
    • Physical Education
    • History
    • Geography
    • Music
    • Physical Education
    • Art and Design
    • Citizenship Music
    • Modern Foreign Languages and Religious Studies.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): Nursery and Reception Class  (0 to 5 years old)

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework sets out welfare and development goals for children five years and under. 

The EYFS is a framework for children up to the age of five, setting out six key areas of learning around which activities should be based. It covers the welfare and development of children.

The areas of learning covered within the EYFS are:

* Communication and language

* Physical development

* Personal, social and emotional development

* Literacy

* Mathematics

* Understanding the world

* Expressive arts and design

4. Type of work contracts/ options available

Permanent Teaching Jobs

As a teacher in London looking for a permanent position – you have choices! 

There is a teacher shortage across England and London is no exception. 

Registering with The Supply Room will mean you can discuss the exact type of school you are interested in interviewing with; we know the schools in London really well and know which schools could offer you exactly what you are looking for.

Long-Term Supply Teaching

Long-Term Supply Teaching is a great option for overseas trained teachers in London on a working holiday visa, or for teachers looking to “try before you buy” prior to committing to a permanent position. This option offers you more security than daily supply teaching.


A long-term supply teaching post could range anywhere from half a term to a full academic year. You won’t have the day to day flexibility as a daily supply teacher but you could commit to a booking term by term. Meaning you can still explore various schools, and choose to take time off between assignments for travel.

Higher Pay

Choosing to work as a long-term supply teacher usually means your agency, and the school, will be willing to pay a higher daily rate. Depending on your subject and level of experience, you could expect to earn between £150 – £220 per day in London. After 12 weeks as a supply teacher, you will also receive the same benefits as a permanent teacher. 

How much ‘long term teaching work’ is available?

Long term supply teaching posts are available at most times of the year for various reasons. 

Teachers on long-term bookings may decide to leave without notice, so there is a frequent need for The Supply Room to recruit teachers. 

Bookings will also arise at any point in the year due to maternity leave, sick leave and a variety of other reasons. Typically, we see an increased amount of long-term posts at the start of each term or half term.

Daily Supply Teaching

Choosing to work as a Daily Supply Teacher in London has fast become one of the the most popular means of income for qualified teachers looking for freedom and variety. 

Supply teaching is often thought to be a stopgap for teachers looking for their next long-term or permanent teaching role, however,  this is not the case. 

Many teachers choose to work as daily supply teachers indefinitely for several reasons, such as:

1. Flexibility

Working as a supply teacher will give you the flexibility to work as often or as little as you want. 

You will be able to plan and accept advanced bookings or alternatively, accept bookings at 7am in the morning to cover local teachers who are unable to attend work for the day. 

2. Variety

As a supply teacher you are not committed to one school, location or year group. 

You can explore different areas of London, perfect your teaching style across year groups and work in various types of schools.

How much Supply work is available?

For most of the academic year, you will be turning work down. Starting out as a supply teacher will mean you need to impress the first schools you cover in; this will result in us receiving positive feedback and therefore offering you more work within those schools. 

Whether you’re in the very start of your search for a teaching job in London from Sunny South Africa, or you’ve arrived already in the UK and ready to get to work, Jason and Brandon can assist. 

Ready to find your classroom? Click here to register your CV as a South African teacher in London.

South African teacher in London