First-hand advice (from a teacher) to teachers moving to London from abroad

Hannah is the Primary Recruitment Consultant at Thames Teachers and has spent time teaching in both Australia and the UK. After a successful teaching career in Australia, Hannah relocated to the UK where she worked at a large ‘Outstanding’ school in Oxfordshire. Having also studied and worked in the Business sector previously, she was looking for an opportunity that would combine her passion for teaching and business. Hannah now works with high-calibre teachers from all over the world as she prepares them for work in London.
Hannah is highly regarded by the Head Teachers she works with across Greater London. She works closely with them to ensure she finds the best possible recruits for their varied needs.

This is what she has to say about her experiences moving from Australia to the UK:
Deciding to step out of my comfort zone and work half-way across the world (in a city that I’d never been to), has been both the craziest and best decision I’ve ever made in my life!
Prior to my move, I’d worked as a teacher for a number of years in Australia, however, I was looking for my next challenge and decided London was something I’d always wanted to pursue while I still had the chance.
Teaching and living in the UK has certainly been a life-changing experience. Professionally, I have enhanced my pedagogy and practice to a point where I’m now confident stepping into any classroom setting. On a personal level, living in London has opened up so many opportunities and experiences in terms of work, travel and meeting new people; most of which just wouldn’t have been possible back home.

For anyone thinking of making the move to this incredible city, I would recommend the following tips:
1. Get organised: The last thing you want to do in London once you’ve arrived, is organise your documentation. Before you leave for London, make sure you’ve received both your UK Police Check (DBS) and national police check from your current country of residence. You will need to have hard copies of both documents in order to teach in the UK. It’s also a good idea to get a rental reference and work-based reference which will make your life a lot easier when finding a house and a job!

2. Allow a 1-2 week settling-in period: It takes a surprising amount of time to set up a bank account/ National Insurance Number and to find a suitable rental property/room in an area that’s right for you. I would suggest allowing 1-2 weeks from when you arrive to when you start working to arrange this.

3. Be flexible with roles: Remember that you are moving to a different country so naturally, things will be run differently to what you’re used to. Take as many supply days/trial days/interviews that you feel comfortable with in order to find the right role and school for you. It’s common for teachers to do 2-3 separate trials before making a long-term commitment.

4. Remember why you’re here: You’ve moved to London for a reason, whether that be to travel through Europe or to experience life in a different country. My advice is to embrace your decision and make the most of it. We can recommend some cheap travel hacks/destinations, things to do on a weekend or a good pub for some Thursday night trivia should you need!

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