From day one, Hourglass has focused on schools and teachers. Our role is to provide teachers with exactly what they need to relocate and thrive in the most exciting teaching opportunities in the UK.
Our specialist recruiters deal with teachers all over the world and we’ve developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of immigration rules and sponsorship applications.
Hourglass overseas candidates come from: Australia, Barbados, Canada, France, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, USA.
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Frequently asked questions
Experience tells us you’ll have lots of questions when you start this journey. Most people are curious about the visa application process, the financial implications of relocating to the UK and of course, the level of support you can expect from Hourglass. We hope this FAQ will help, but please feel free to get in touch if you need any other information.
We know that many agencies recruit international teachers to work in UK schools, but very few have experience like ours. We've tried and tested our methodology over the past 20 years and have absolutely nailed the intricacies of the relocation process. This includes an in-depth knowledge of the UK immigration system, as well as a full support and acclimatisation package.
We don't believe that ‘one size fits all’. Our first priority is to get to know you and your needs and preferences. This is the only way we can help you to find the perfect position in a school that suits you. Similarly, the support we offer as you plan to relocate will be tailored to your own requirements – we know that this is the best way to ensure you experience a seamless relocation.
We are a close-knit, values-led team. Each one of us is committed to the quality of the service we offer to our candidates and schools.
Headed up by James Letven, Hourglass consultants work tirelessly to support the education of young people in England. They have a unique understanding of their schools and the candidates they promote to them. They will discuss the opportunities open to you in detail.
We love getting feedback from our teachers. Whether they give us full marks, or are less positive, it’s always useful. Apart from anything else, their views tell us what we’re doing well, and what we need to work on.
Don't take our word for it, read the feedback for yourself.
There is no cost to you for our service. Our aim is simple, we want to establish an on-going positive and professional relationship with you.
We have assisted many teachers find their first teaching position, and to settle comfortably into life in the UK. More importantly, we keep in touch, and when you’re ready to consider moving on, whether to experience another school, or to progress your career, we’ll be here to advise and to help make it happen.
Any teacher who is not a British National wishing to work in England will require a visa. To gain entry for work in the UK, the majority of our candidates qualify for one of these three main visa categories:
- Tier 5 – Youth Mobility
- UK Ancestry visa
- Skilled Worker visa
Hourglass has good relationships with many of the schools who are licensed to sponsor international teachers.
If you require a Skilled Worker visa, you will need to gain an offer of employment from one of these schools. When you have accepted your offer, the school will apply for and then assign a Certificate of Sponsorship. The sponsored teacher can then apply for their visa on the basis of this sponsorship.
There is a charge for each visa – including any dependant visas. You may also be required to pay fees associated with the visa.
- Tier 5 – The Youth Mobility System - £244 per person
- UK Ancestry Visa - £516 per person
- Skilled Worker visa
- Shortage occupation - £464 per person
- Non-shortage occupation - £610 per person
Check the cost of visas in any currency: https://www.gov.uk/visa-fees
When you arrive in the UK, one of your first priorities will be to open a bank account. The money you earn will be paid directly into your bank account, and you’ll need it to pay your rent and bills, e.g. rent, utilities, mobile, etc.
Most of our teachers find that the easiest way to open a bank account is to do choose one of the online options, such as Monzo or Starling. You will need to prove your identity using valid ID, and will need to quote your physical UK address and current email address in order to get going.
If you’re used to working in countries such as Australia and Canada, you’ll be used to paying tax somewhere between 10-40% of your income. Workers in the UK pay a basic rate of 20%, which can be a great benefit for education professionals.
Everyone who lives and works in the UK pays National Insurance contributions to qualify for certain benefits. For example, the National Health Service (NHS) is funded mainly from general taxation supplemented by National Insurance contributions.
You need a National Insurance number before you can start paying National Insurance contributions.
You can apply for a National Insurance number if you:
- live in the UK
- have the right to work in the UK
- are working, looking for work or have an offer to start work
Hourglass overseas relocation specialists will give you the information you need, and help you to apply for a National Insurance number.
You may be surprised to hear that many of our teachers actually save money while they are living, working and enjoying the UK!
In spite of the fact that on the face of it, salaries in the UK can seem lower than in some countries, e.g. Australia and Canada, it’s generally cheaper to live in London than in Sydney or Toronto.
Don’t forget you’ll need to check British Pounds (£).
To get an accurate comparison, you’ll need to check the current exchange rate. Here’s a snapshot of conversion rates at the start of 2023:
Pounds to Australian Dollars
Pounds to Canadian Dollars
Pounds to Jamaican Dollars
Pounds to New Zealand Dollars
Pounds to South African Rands
Pounds to US Dollars