education Hampshire


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Overseas Trained Teachers

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

You can find more general information on the DFE website:


Please note that OTTs who were trained in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland may be eligible for QTS under mutual recognition arrangements and should apply to the Teaching Agency via the link above.

OTT's from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States are now able to apply for confirmation fromthe Teaching Agency that they have QTS without undertaking a further induction period.  For more information see the link above.

For all others, the National Academic Recognition Information Centre for the UK (UK NARIC) can compare international qualifications against UK standards. The onus is on the school to check the equivalence of overseas qualifications but an OTT may also want to check this before they start looking for work.

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 UK Border Agency’s

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 new points-based system which replaced work permits. More information on this can be found on the UK Border Agency’s website:

Employment of OTTs

OTTs who have found a position at a school will need to be employed on a temporary contract as an unqualified teacher/instructor until they gain QTS. This is because schools should be recruiting qualified teachers where possible and unqualified teachers should be employed where a qualified teacher is not available.

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.

Gaining QTS

Unless QTS can be gained through confirmation with the Teaching Agency (for qualified teachers from with the EEA, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States), the best way for an OTT to gain QTS is to undertake the Overseas Trained Teacher Programme (OTTP).

Hampshire County Council works with Reading University to deliver this programme. You can find out more about Reading’s programme on their website: Please note that an OTT will need to secure a job in a school before they can be accepted onto the programme.  Current teaching vacancies can be found on this website.