Teach in the UK• 3 Min read

21st July 2020

Guest Blog: Making The Move To England

Moving to teach in the UK can be a fantastic career move and a wonderful opportunity to explore a new country.  We recently asked one of our Irish teachers to share her experience of making the move, to shed some light on the kind of things that you’ll need to plan for.


Jessica: After securing a teaching job through Engage, it was time for my partner and I to take the big step of moving to the UK. While it can be daunting planning the move itself, the Engage team provided great support throughout the process.

Did COVID-19 have a major impact on moving from Ireland to the UK? 

Before moving, we were worried about the impact of Covid restrictions and minding our own health when moving to the UK. However, we were pleasantly surprised at how smooth the transition was. While travelling we had the additional use of masks and sanitising as well as social distancing in the airport and on public transport. Despite this there was no problem entering the UK from Ireland and we arrived without any delay to flights or transport. We were able to find and secure an apartment online and to get a moving company to bring our furniture over. Worrying about the current Covid situation is understandable but it didn’t present any obstacle for us in moving over. Staying safe and using reasonable precautions are a habit by now and the same procedures are used for doing so in Ireland and the UK. 

Here are some steps to help you have the smoothest possible transition from Ireland to the UK:

Step 1: Finding an apartment or house share

When searching for a place to live, it is a good idea to research the distance between the location and the school as well as other local amenities and transport links. Knowing the areas that will work best for you can help to narrow your searches and save yourself some valuable house-hunting time. When considering a place to live keep in mind that on top of the rent there is also council tax which can cost you an extra couple of hundred pounds. Using property sites like Zoopla is a great idea as they show you the projected bills for each month as well as the rent price. Alternatively you can look on the council tax website with each postcode, which we did before discovering Zoopla, but who has time for that? Engage Education is always on hand to help you find room shares with their other teachers moving to your area and they also have a Facebook group which you can also join to meet new friends in your area. 

Step 2: Moving your stuff to the UK

If, like us, you have accumulated quite a bit of furniture and bits and bobs before moving, you may need to get a moving van organised. This usually needs to be organised about six weeks before the move but there are great moving comparison websites that can help get you there. Going from Ireland to England we used Walsh Removals. They had the most competitive pricing by far and handled everything with great professionalism and flexibility. They move regularly between Ireland and the UK so what can be a very stressful situation is as relaxed and straightforward as possible. 

Step 3: Organising your paperwork

Health: Before coming to the UK it is important that you have your EHIC card up to date and with you. Pop it into your passport so it doesn’t go missing. This is needed when applying for doctor services in the UK and for applying for your National Insurance Number. Be aware that, given the current COVID situation, it could be a number of weeks before you can get an appointment to collect your national insurance number. (I have another twelve weeks to go before I can receive mine) 

Banking: You will also need a copy of two forms of photo ID for setting up a bank account when you do arrive. In addition to two forms of ID, most banks also require two proofs of address for your new UK address. The lease is not considered by many to be a proof of address so you may have to wait until the first bills have come in to set up your bank account. We found Metro Bank to be the most stress-free and straightforward of the banks that we contacted for setting up our accounts. While getting our accounts organised, we were able to use Revolut which operates online, this was a lifesaver in the first few weeks. Monzo is also a great option!

DBS Check: Your school will require you to undergo a DBS check which proves that you have no previous convictions or criminal record. To complete these checks they will need three documents from a list of suggested documents that they send you. Some of these documents don’t correlate to the Irish equivalent so my school recommended that I use my passport or drivers licence, my birth certificate and a council tax bill or utility bill. Luckily the documents that I used for setting up my banking and National Insurance Number could also be used for the DBS checks. If you’re not working on a permanent basis with a school, Engage Education kindly arrange the DBS certificate for you! 

Step 4: Enjoy your new adventure

Once the paperwork has been sorted it is a good idea to walk the route to the school a few times and familiarise yourself with the area. Then it is down to the fun of exploring your new space and finding the best shops, bars and restaurants in your area. This is the beginning of a whole new chapter in your career and in your life so all that is left to do is to enjoy the ride!

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