education Hampshire


Overseas Trained Teachers

An Overseas Trained Teacher (OTT) is someone who has trained and qualified as a teacher outside of England and Wales and does not hold English Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).


OTTs may be able to apply for QTS through the National College of School Leadership (NCTL) if they trained in:

  • Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • an EEA member state or Switzerland
  • Australia, Canada, New Zealand or United States

See the DfE website for more information and relevant application forms.

For OTTs who do not hold, or are not able to apply for, English QTS, the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) can compare international qualifications against UK standards. There are some limitations on the employment of OTTs without English QTS - see 'Employment of OTTs' section below.

Induction (NQT)

Many OTTs who have gained QTS will be exempt from serving statutory induction, as their applications to the NCTL would have included an assessment of their experience and skills against the Teachers' Standards. A full list of exemptions from completing Induction is available.

Right to Work in the UK

All OTTs will be required to provide evidence of their right to work in the UK before they can begin work.

Most OTTs from EEA countries or Switzerland are able to reside and work freely within the UK on presentation of an EEA passport or other relevant travel document. There are some restrictions, however, and more information can be found on The Home Office's website.

OTTs from outside of the EEA may have the right to work, for example, by virtue of a UK Ancestry route or family links to someone who has the right to work in the UK already. If this is not the case, an OTT will need to be ‘sponsored’ under the points-based system. More information on this can be found on The Home Office's website.

Employment of OTTs

OTTs who have found a position at a school will need to be employed as an unqualified teacher until they gain QTS.

The ‘four-year rule’ states that OTTs can teach for up to four years before they are required to hold QTS to continue teaching. If QTS has not been achieved in this time, they can no longer teach in maintained schools in England. The four years starts from the first day of teaching in a maintained school in England and includes any time out of service.

Further information can be found on the DfE website.


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