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5 Questions To Ask UK Teaching Agencies

5 Questions To Ask UK Teaching Agencies

When you are looking for some support with finding work as a teacher in England, you need to ask the following 5 questions to any teaching agency you are speaking to. Find out quickly whether you have a full range of opportunities, and are getting fair and transparent advice. Not all teaching agencies are created equal.

Q1. What types of teaching work options do you offer? 

  • A good agency should be able to offer you a wide range of teaching opportunities in the UK. 
  • UK teaching options should include substitute teaching (supply), short or long term contracts.
  • Ideally, your agency should be able to offer you the choice of direct placements with schools if that is what you prefer. 
  • Supply work should be guaranteed, so teachers coming from overseas know they have work available regularly. 
  • Contracts should be available at different times of the year.

RED FLAGS: If an agency can only offer you one type of work eg. Supply or a permanent contract, then you may be getting pushed into the type of work that isn’t the best fit. It also limits your choices when you are in the UK. Ask yourself.  “Why they are pushing a particular agenda?”

teachers in the UK

Q2. What will I get paid and what are my pay options? 

  • Firstly, there is no excuse for not being paid properly, so make sure your agency isn’t trying to make excuses as to why you are not going to get the right and fair amount. 
  • Be wary if your agency wants you to set yourself up as a limited company, as you will have limited ability to claim expenses and pay both the employee and employer tax requirements. 
  • Receive full transparency regarding your pay cycle, daily rate, salary and the British Teacher PayScale.

Getting paid in the UK

RED FLAGS: If an agency really pushes you towards using a payroll provider and you would rather be paid as an employee through the school or agency, you have choices! Also, there is no reason why you should not be paid properly and according to the British teacher pay scale. None of your agreed pay rate should be taken from your agency!

Q3. What locations can you offer me teaching work?

  • A good agency should have a variety of locations where you can secure work.
  • London is not right (or affordable) for everyone and so regional branches, coastal branches and other city branches should options available to you.
  • You may want to travel while you are in the UK, and experience teaching in two or more locations, so an agency with reach is important. 

teaching in Buckinghamshire UK

RED FLAGS: You will probably come in contact with agencies that only have an office in London and as a result make you feel crazy for considering a location somewhere less expensive or less intense. We love London and have teaching work all over the capital, but it is not right for all teachers! Make sure you have a choice!

Q4. What types of schools do you work with? 

  • You want to work with an agency that has long-standing relationships with schools that understand what overseas teachers need, in terms of support and have a good reputation. 
  • Ideally, you should have an opportunity to interview in person with a representative for schools in the area you want to secure a job. Our international UK Principal tours allow our teachers to meet and interview in person and are very popular for this reason.
  • Ideally, an agency should have built a reputation in the areas where they have branches that mean all types of schools ask for help in finding great local and international teachers. 
  • State, faith, independent and SEN schools should all be options. 
teaching Bucks

Art Class at Holmer Green Senior School

RED FLAGS: If your agency only works with specific types of schools or trusts, you may not have the choice you are looking for. Again you need to maximise your choice of school type, location and work contracts when considering teaching in the UK. 

Q5. What support do you offer your teachers? 

  • Firstly, make sure the initial support you receive from your consultant will continue and that you will also have a dedicated UK consultant, while you are in the UK.
  • It is always nice to get some help with your upfront costs, so as long as you have secured a job that is a good fit, a free flight over is a great perk!
  • A good agency will make it easy for you to understand what compliance documents you need to collect and provide an easy way to upload those documents or send them through. 
  • Your agency should also be able to walk you through the visa application process and be a concierge of sorts when it comes to transitioning to the UK. That means help and advice with accommodation, banking, insurance and anything else that is on your mind. 

RED FLAGS: If the teaching agency you are talking to does not have a UK office/ branches you may not get the help and support you need in real-time. Have they been recognised as a great place to work and worth working through? Are they offering ongoing professional support and a social community of teachers to connect with? 

Teach in the UK- Teach in community

Final questions to ask yourself so you select the right UK teaching agency…

  • Does the agency have a website with lots of information, freely available?
  • Do they have reviews and testimonials from happy schools and teachers?
  • Does our agency employ teachers, who have lived and worked in the UK?
  • Can you keep up to date with what is happening through various social channels and online webinars?
  • Most importantly- are they paying you correctly and offering real choice?

If the answer is yes to all of the above, you have found yourself a great agency. 

We believe we are the best agency when it comes to choice, support and transparency. If you would like to arrange a chat with a consultant from Teach in, get in touch. 

Katherine Gibson, International Relationship Executive @Teach in