Frequently asked questions
How does the registration process work?
If you are not yet in London, in order to maximise your chances of getting work as soon as you arrive in London, we recommend registering prior to your departure. This will allow us to gather the necessary documentation required to clear you for work in the UK. Some of these include UK and foreign police checks, proof of qualifications, the right to work in the UK and proof of identity. Our dedicated consultants will be with you every step of the way on your journey to London. We keep in regular contact via Skype, email or telephone, send through suitable job opportunities and answer all of your questions to make the move as easy as possible for you!
Can Thames Teachers provide sponsorship?
As a recruitment agency, we don’t have the capacity to sponsor teachers on work permits but we can assist candidates with sponsorship via schools and Local Authorities as part of the Permanent Placement process. Most schools across the UK offer sponsorship if you meet their criteria. Speak to one of our consultants for information regarding schools we work with that offer sponsorship.
When do I get paid?
At Thames Teachers, you are paid every Friday, a week in arrears through your chosen payroll company. All of these details are discussed when you meet with your consultant so we can ensure that there are no issue with your payroll process. We have a very efficient payroll department that will always help with any questions you may have.
Why do I need an NI number?
When arriving in the UK, it is important that you apply for a National Insurance Number and then register with doctor in your local area. As a percentage of your pay is paid to the National Health Service, this entitles you to free medical treatment in the United Kingdom. If you are planning to travel throughout Europe while you are living in the UK, it may be worth taking out an annual travel insurance policy.
What costs do I need to bear in mind?
The first rule of thumb is to try not to convert GBP back to your home currency. Once you are earning Pounds, you will be able to adjust more easily to the cost of living in London.
In terms of costs associated with renting in London, you will need to have enough savings to cover the following:
1. Rental deposit which is generally 4-6 weeks of rent
2. First month’s rent upfront (required prior to moving in to the property)
3. Agency fees which vary depending on the agency
4. Council Tax and utility bills (often built into the monthly rental price)
5. TV Licence which costs £140 annually per household
When you first arrive in London, we recommend purchasing an Oyster Card which will allow you to get the best travel deals based on the time of day, type of travel (Bus, Overground or Tube) and zones which you are travelling through.
Do I need QTS (qualified Teaching Status)?
In order to work and get paid as a qualified teacher you will need to provide proof of your QTS and qualification. If you qualified in a different country please don’t worry, it really is a simple and easy process that your consultant can help you with. It’s recommended that ou speak to your consultant about this so that we can send you the necessary forms. Prior to your arrival, it’s a good idea to check as to whether you’re eligible for Qualified Teacher Status. Holding QTS ensures that your qualifications are recognised in the UK and that you can be paid to the same scale as British-trained teachers. Please ask your consultant for further details regarding this application.
Public transport and cost effective travel
We recommend using the extensive tube, train and bus network to get to schools and about town. Tube maps can be picked up from every tube station and the network is easy and safe to navigate. If you are not close to a tube station the London buses provide an alternative option. When travelling within London it is more cost effective to purchase an Oyster card than it is paying for single journeys. Oyster cards are chargeable with pay as you go credit, day, week, monthly and annual travel passes. The Oyster card allows you to travel to destinations within the London travel zones. If travelling extensively (2+ tube journeys daily) a weekly or even monthly travel pass can save you money.
London is also a wonderful city to walk and cycle about. Often the tube map (which is not to scale) can be misleading with distances, particularly in central London. Checking walking routes may save you time on your journey and often takes you through some of the cities exceptional landmarks. TFL (transport for London) offer bicycle hire points throughout the city where bikes can be obtained using an oyster card. If you are cycling in the city to ensure your safety please make sure to always wear a helmet!
Outside of London
London is well connected to the rest of the UK through a large rail and bus network. When travelling by train it is worth exploring different travel cards which offer discounted fares. National rail offer a 16-25 travel card which gives 30% discount for people aged 25 and under at a cost of £26, a good investment if you are planning on exploring the country. The individual train networks often offer a rail pass/ discount card and this is well worth exploring if you no longer qualify for the youth discount schemes.
National express and Megabus are the UKs largest bus operators. Both service cities across England, Scotland and Wales. When booked in advance these journeys can be purchased for as little as £3 one way and are the most cost effective way of seeing the country. National express also offer a 16-25 rail card which further discounts fares.
Towns, cities and villages throughout the UK are serviced by bus. We recommend researching your destination prior to arrival as bus timetables can often be found online. Many places will have bus schedules available within their central bus stations.
Travelling to Europe and beyond
London is exceptionally well connected with flights, trains and buses to mainland Europe departing from most corners of the city!
Low- cost airlines service London’s many airports and booking in advance can allow you to jet off for a weekend break for as little as £20 one way. Stanstead and Luton in particular operate many of the British and European low cost carriers. One tip is to book your travel to the airport (usually by bus) as far in advance as possible to keep expenses low!
London St Pancras operates the Eurostar which connects London with Paris, Brussels and beyond. The train allows you to cross over to Europe within a few hours. This can be an expensive option and booking well in advance is advised to secure cheap seats!
If you are intending to travel through multiple destinations in Europe by train we recommend looking into Interrail (for European citizens) and Eurrail (Non-European citizens) passes which offer almost unlimited travel passes within one or more European countries.
Eurolines is a bus service that connects London with almost 50 European destinations. They offer 15 and 30 day travel passes (with Youth discounts) which are ideal for a summer of exploring the mainland. Although a good low cost option; be prepared as bus journeys between cities are often long!
Ferry services also depart throughout the UK to European ports taking both foot and car passengers. Travelling by coach or car you will either use the Ferry services or travel through the channel tunnel (in Dover). If you are driving across to Europe please do familiarise yourself with the visit countries road rules as they can vary from those of the UK.
Thames Teachers 8 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4PL Tel: 0207 264 4919 Fax: 0207 264 4918