Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose to register with Protocol Education?

With nearly 1000 schools in London – and nearly 4000 schools across England – no agency has more schools than us. This simply means that you can base yourself in any area of London – and most areas of England – and you’ll be able find work. Plus with our Guaranteed Work Agreements (GWAs) you can have the security of guaranteed casual relief teaching without the risk!

It’s not all about work however - we’re able to help you put the ‘holiday’ in your ‘working holiday’. Whether it’s through our monthly overseas teacher drinks in London, our annual boat party on the Thames, our travel evenings with partners like Contiki, Topdeck & Busabout or even pre-departure drinks before you leave home, our goal is to connect you with other teachers in UK. Half the fun of moving to teach in the UK is meeting with other teachers; as the UK’s leading teaching agency we can help make that happen.

Should I register with an education recruitment agency before I arrive in the UK?

If you wait until you arrive in the UK to register, you might be waiting a few weeks to get your paperwork sorted! That’s the benefit to registering with a UK teaching agency before you depart: we get your paperwork all in order so you can literally start teaching the day after you arrive if you like.

We have consultants based in Australia and New Zealand, so we can work on everything in the same time zone – no need to chat to UK offices at 11pm or having a two-day delay in emails because of the time difference. If you spend four weeks waiting for your paperwork to process in the UK, that’s nearly $4000 worth of work you could be missing out on. Register to teach with Protocol Education and we’ll have you ready to work from the moment you arrive.

What type of work does Protocol Education offer?

Protocol Education can offer all types of work for you; daily supply teaching (the same as casual relief teaching here at home), short term blocks (up to 6 weeks), full time roles (normally 1 term or longer) and even permanent teaching positions.

What work you accept is up to you; you can choose to work in whatever capacity you like. Casual supply work gives you a great deal of flexibility to work 5 days a week but to also take time off when you like (such as taking a week off during the term to snap up an amazing travel deal.) Full time roles allow you to develop your teaching practice and have the consistency of the same school, same students and the same travel routines each day.

We don’t dictate to you what work you will be doing; you tell us and we find you work accordingly. You need to register with a UK teaching agency that actually listens to your preferences and acts upon them, not one that tries to push you into a setting that you aren’t comfortable with. We can even offer you guaranteed casual teaching through our Guaranteed Work Agreement (GWA). This means you can travel to the UK with the flexibility of casual work but with the security of getting paid!

How does the Guaranteed Work Agreement work?

The GWA works by offering you a minimum number of days of teaching work over the space of the term. You can travel knowing that you’ve got the security of guaranteed work and, if for some reason we don’t find you the minimum number of days agreed upon, we’ll pay you them anyway.

For example we might guaranteed you 50 days out of a 55 day school term. If, at the end of the term you’ve only work 47 days, then we will pay you 3 days extra to bring your tally up.

If you teach 50 or more days then that’s great – no need to do anything else! You keep every pound you earn over the agreed number of days.

What happens if I sign a GWA and then decide that I want to travel during term time?

Chat to your local consultant; if you’re away for a few days we’ll just reduce your agreed days (eg: 50) by the number of school days that you’re unavailable for. If you end up taking every second week off to travel then the GWA might not be for you, however for those teachers looking to work for most of the term it is the perfect way to start your teaching experience in the UK.

What is an Umbrella Company and do I have to be paid through an Umbrella Company?

An umbrella company is a separate company that acts as an employer for anyone working in a daily or fixed term position. The umbrella provides a payroll service to its employees, processes all timesheets and invoices, and pays its employees a salary after allowing for deductions.

This used to be an attractive option for teachers to go into as it meant you could minimise the tax you paid by writing off your expenses each week. It is also attractive for UK Teaching agencies, as it means they do not need to operate a payroll department and hence save costs.

However, the UK government changed their tax laws in 2015, and as a result using an umbrella company now means less take home pay than you would receive on good old Pay As You Earn (PAYE). It’s gotten even better for agencies, as now through an umbrella company you pay the employer National Insurance contributions of around £50 a week, instead of the agency.

You don’t need to be paid through an Umbrella Company – in fact you should make sure you aren’t.

How long will I have to travel to get to a school?
Commute times vary depending on where you live and the school in which you’re working at, however the average commute for teachers in London is about 40 minutes. On our Guaranteed Work Agreement we include a 60 minute travel limit too for peace of mind. As the UK’s largest teaching agency we have a network of nearly 1000 schools across London; this means more chances to find work close to home than any other agency!
Should I set up a bank account before I leave?
You’re right – it can be difficult if you do it by yourself. Protocol Education can assist with setting up your UK bank account with our partners at HSBC once you arrive in the UK. We advise against setting one up before you go simply due to the costs involved. It’s free to do it with us in the UK!
What’s the best way to go about finding accommodation?
The best way to find a great place to live is to find yourself a base for about 2 weeks first; this can be a mate’s couch, a hostel or through Air BnB. During this time you should use websites like Spareroom and Gumtree to inspect available properties and, when you find one that you like, snap it up on the spot! Rooms in London can move quickly, so as soon as you find a property that ticks your boxes we suggest you lock it in.
Does Protocol Education pay for flights?

Most ‘free flight’ offers are funded through Umbrella company deductions. Basically, a portion of the money a UK Teaching agency saves by outsourcing your payroll to an Umbrella Company goes towards paying for your ‘free flight’.

Protocol Education does not pay for your flight, but if you secure a long-term UK Teaching position or sign our Guaranteed Work Agreement before arriving in the UK you will be eligible for a £500 bonus after your first term’s work. This offer does not require you to be paid through an Umbrella Company and will basically work out to be the equivalent of the cost of your flight.