Teach in the UK• 3 Min read

13th October 2021

Can I Teach In England Without A Teaching Number?

Delays to the registration of new teachers through the General Teaching Council Northern Ireland have been an issue since the start of the summer. Press leaks revealing that staff are down from 25 to just 9, and that employees currently working at the Teaching Council are struggling with a heavy workload. For many teachers and educators, it was clear from August that some newly qualified teachers wouldn’t be registered in time for the start of the new term – leaving gaps in classrooms and careers.

What’s The Delay?

It’s not clear why staffing issues at the General Teaching Council Northern Ireland have continued to be a problem. Recently the CEO of GTCNI, Sam Gallaher, gave his notice to leave in April 2022 and there are several other vacancies in senior positions. This makes it hard to see how the delays are going to be resolved in the near future with a lack of senior leadership in place. There are fewer staff available to process new applications and deal with the backlog, leaving teachers waiting long periods before they are able to start work.

What’s The Solution?

At present, it seems that recruiting staff and addressing contractual issues at the GTCNI are the only ways to solve the problem. Irish teachers need a Teaching Council number to begin their careers and further delays could have the potential to facilitate teacher shortages further down the line, as newly qualified teachers have no choice but to find other work or wait it out.

What Can Teachers Do?

Once you’ve made your application to register with the GTCNI, there seems to be little to do but wait.  It’s unclear how long delays could continue, but even once staff are recruited and trained, clearing the backlog of applications could leave teachers waiting until 2022 to be able to secure a teaching position.

Can Qualified Teachers Work In England?

You can work in schools in England whilst you wait for your Teaching Council number. For Irish teachers who want to start their teaching journey straight away but are frustrated by delays at home, teaching in England is one option that gives you additional benefits. There’s the opportunity to travel and meet new people and the extra experience you’ll gain living working in another country. 

How Can Engage Help?

By registering with us, you’ll join hundreds of teachers who have travelled to England for the excellent experience and opportunities that working abroad offers. We’ll guide you through the process, ensure you have the checks and qualifications that you need, talk to you about your career goals and work to find you your ideal role.  If you are currently waiting for your Irish Teaching Council number, or you want to experience what teaching in another country is like for any other reason – we’d love to connect with you.


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