International• 3 Min read

4th December 2019

Education jobs in the UK & Ireland: The key differences

Working in the UK as an Irish teacher means you’ll be comfortable with the culture and language of your new home, as the UK and Ireland do have many similarities, as such close neighbours. However, there are some distinct differences that people considering the move should be aware of.

Key differences for teachers moving to the UK from Ireland


Primary school teachers in Ireland are required to be able to speak Irish, as teaching of the Irish language is compulsory for primary school students. Speaking English is the only language requirement for all teachers in the UK, aside from foreign language teachers, of course.

Private schools

Private schooling is more common in Ireland, and it’s a growing trend. As the country’s economy grows, so does the number of children in private schools. In the UK, private schooling is less common and isn’t experiencing the same boom.

Cost of living

Consumer prices are 13.7% higher in Ireland than in the UK, grocery prices are 11% higher, and rent is on average 52% higher. Making the move to teaching in England can represent a much lower cost of living, especially if you move outside the capital.


In Ireland, teaching is compulsory until 6th Year, which is equivalent to year 13 in the UK, when pupils are 18 years old. In the UK, pupils can leave school at 16 or choose to continue to A-Levels and University. During the A-Levels, pupils can choose their own subjects (three or four) to study, whereas in Ireland, pupils must study English, Maths, and Irish, as well as 3 or 4 other subjects.

For the National Curriculum taught in the UK, including a breakdown of programmes of study by subject, you can see this page on the gov.uk website.

Relocate with Engage

When you register with Engage, we’ll assign you your own personal Engage consultant in the area you’d like to teach in. Find out more to see what we have to offer, including our teaching jobs abroad. If you don’t know what area you’d like to move to, we can help you with that too! We’ll begin by creating a personalised career plan for you, taking into account your goals and ambitions for the future, and set you up on the path to getting there.

Join Engage to fast-track your career

Irish teachers working in England can experience much better job opportunities and faster career progression than they might expect in Ireland.

Register today!

Recommended for you