International• 3 Min read

24th September 2019

Difference between teacher working conditions in the USA and UK

So you’re thinking about making the move to teach in the UK? Here are some of the differences in teaching conditions that you’ll experience when you make the move:

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It is easier to find a job as a teacher in the UK than it is in the USA, due to the teacher shortage the UK is currently experiencing. In the USA, teachers may need to move to a different town or state to find the right teaching job, whereas in the UK, schools in most areas will have teaching vacancies.

Career progression

Teachers who are committed to their roles will find there are more opportunities to advance in British schools than they might be used to in America. Due to the teacher shortage in the UK, there is often a vacant position to advance into, either at the school you are currently in, or in another local school.

Flexible working

Schools in the UK will also work hard to ensure their teachers are happy and supported, meaning that they will work with you to create a style of work that suits you and the school. This could be by reducing work wherever possible or providing training and advancement opportunities more regularly. This helps to reduce teacher turnover in this teacher-short environment.

Flexible and creative curriculum

The UK curriculum is very flexible, especially in academies. This gives creative teachers from the USA the ability to thrive and bring out the best in their pupils. This differs to the curriculum in the USA, which can be more binding and restrictive.

Higher pay

Pay for UK teachers is set by the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) which is legally binding in all local authority maintained schools. For qualified classroom teachers (that is, someone who is not a head teacher, assistant head teacher, or leading practitioner) you will be paid on either the Main Pay Range or the Upper Pay Range.

Teacher pay is frequently reviewed and the strong UK teacher unions work to make sure conditions and pay stay competitive.

Let us know what differences you’ve noticed between teaching in the UK and teaching in the USA by joining in the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!


Register with the international agency that puts your goals first!

At Engage, we’re known for our happy teachers and unrivalled support programme. When you register with Engage, you’ll be contacted by one of our education relocation experts, who will work with you to set up your individual career plan for when you arrive in the UK.

Register with Engage!

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