Steps to become a Spanish teacher in the UK

19 Aug 2021 - Category: Blog /
Spanish teacher

As Latins, one of the easiest jobs we can find in the UK is as a Spanish teacher. Teaching can be one of the most stable and rewarding professions for Latin immigrants to the UK.

So, how do we get started? What are the requirements? Do we need a special qualification? And what is life like as a Spanish teacher in the UK?

Schools around the UK will have different requirements and the experience of becoming a teacher will be varied. Spanish teaching jobs in London will be different to those in Edinburgh, Manchester or Birmingham. But there are plenty of basic steps to learn about becoming a Spanish teacher in the UK, that are common throughout the country.

In this post we will explore the steps you need to take to become a Spanish teacher in the UK.

First Steps

  • The options are very broad depending on your studies, your previous experience and your country of origin. Depending on your personal situation you will be able to apply to become a Not Qualified teacher – or Qualified teacher status (QTS). The latter will give you access as a teacher to public schools or special education schools where you can receive a salary between £27,000-£35,000.

  • Firstly, you need to gather all your qualifications: your education degree, or other degree plus a Master in Pedagogy for which you would need a sworn translation of all the documents. This will cost you between £50 to £100. This stage of the process involves a lot of paperwork and you may have to wait a bit of time before everything is finalised.

  • Once you have your documents translated, fill in the form: Application for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). After all these steps, if your documentation is correct, you will receive your identification number as a teacher within a period of 4 months.

  • Then you will apply to a number of different teaching positions in a variety of schools across the UK. In order to work as a teacher in the UK you will also need to have completed a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service) and submitted your Spanish Certificate of Criminal Record.

Let’s have a look at the two common paths you can take to teach Spanish in a school in the UK.

Getting Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

The UK government has provided guidance for overseas teachers. The path will be different depending on the country but if you are coming from Spain there is a simple way to get QTS.

If you have a degree but you have limited teaching experience, you can train to teach on a course that will give you QTS. The government also provides guidance if you want to become a teacher without a degree.

If you have a degree and more than 2 years teaching experience you can achieve QTS by completing the assessment only route without doing more training. As you can see there are several paths to choose from that depend on your current education and the type of Spanish teaching you want to do.

To learn more about the routes to QTS, visit

Working without a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

You can work as a Spanish teacher in the UK without having a qualified teacher status. For some people, this may be the ideal route, especially if you only have short-term plans to teach in the UK.

According to the UK government, overseas teachers can teach in schools in England without qualified teacher status (QTS) for up to 4 years. This is called the 4-year rule. In order to teach without a QTS and qualify for the 4-year rule you must meet a few basic conditions:

  • You must have qualified as a teacher in a country outside of the UK
  • You must have completed a course of teacher training that is recognised by the competent authority of that country
  • You must be employed in maintained schools and non-maintained special schools, but not a pupil referral unit

Key facts to remember:

  • There are no public examinations in the UK; the hiring process is done directly through teacher agencies or at the schools or institutions themselves. This means that the process will be slightly different for each teaching agency or school. Arguably, this also gives you the opportunity to find an institution that suits you because the hiring process is not standardised.

  • The QTS will allow you to work in both public and private schools.

  • In the UK there is no distinction between a primary and secondary school teacher. You will be able to teach any subject at any level, as long as you come with the knowledge and experience required. This gives you a wide range of choice. Before sending off applications, ask yourself: what age students do I want to teach? And, what level of spanish language qualification should I teach?

  • If you do not have a specific education degree but you have a career, you should consider applying for an official certification at authorised institutions. The one with most international prestige is Instituto Cervantes, where you can examine as a ELE teacher (profesor de Español como Lengua Extranjera). This is a highly reputable certification that will allow you to go after spanish teacher vacancies all around the country.

  • Websites where you can start your job search as a Spanish teacher include:, Portal de hispanismo, and

Each of these websites is a great starting point to begin looking for Spanish teacher jobs in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Cambridge and a host of other cities throughout the UK.

Your teaching journey

It is important to remember that everyone’s path to teaching in the UK will be different. As an immigrant, becoming a Spanish teacher is a great way to have a stable income and help others at the same time. If you remember a few of these key facts you’ll definitely be on the right track.

Often the admin can be frustrating. Hopefully, you can follow some of these common key steps to ensure that your journey to becoming a Spanish teacher in the UK is as easy as possible. Whether you find a teaching position in Oxford, Brighton, the West Midlands or London, there are plenty of opportunities for you to be successful and teach kids in the UK about the language you love.

To learn more about the practicalities of living abroad and how you can manage your finances when you become a Spanish teacher in the UK, read about Small World’s money transfer services here.

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