Secure a new MFL teacher through Spain’s Visiting Teachers Programme.


Spain’s Visiting Teachers Programme (SVTP) enables schools in England to recruit qualified teachers from Spain to teach modern foreign languages (MFL) for a period of one to three years.

Fully funded recruitment.

The programme is funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and is run in partnership with Spain’s Ministry of Education (MEFP) along with commercial partner Randstad. It is open to all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England.

The SVTP programme has been running for more than 30 years in the US and Canada and the DfE decided to launch it in England four years ago to support the recruitment of MFL teachers. Since the programme began in England, more than 75 teachers have been placed in schools.

Fully vetted teachers.

The programme gives schools the chance to recruit qualified MFL teachers who hold UK QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) from Spain. All teachers are tested to ensure they meet the level of English required to teach in England. They all teach Spanish and some teach French, German and other languages too.

Recruitment costs, an acclimatisation package for teachers, an on-going CPD programme during their first year in post and teachers’ Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are all covered by the DfE.

Schools are required to pay the teacher’s salary and supply cover costs to support CPD days (at least one day per term) and mentor training. The Spanish teachers pay for their own flights, accommodation and living expenses while they are living in England.

All the teachers are thoroughly vetted and checked, undergoing a rigorous interview and assessment process to ensure they meet the programme’s eligibility criteria and are ready to teach in schools in England. They are interviewed by experienced senior leaders from English schools prior to being accepted as SVTP candidates.

Tried and tested in schools across England.

Spanish has gone from strength to strength at Shoeburyness High School in Southend-on-Sea with the addition of Mr González to their school as a Spanish teacher. Mr González has made a “real difference” to the Spanish curriculum. Michelle La Roche, Head of MFL at the school explains “I think it inspires the pupils to have someone who speaks beautiful English and is teaching in another country. It makes them think: ‘Wow, we could do something like that.’ We want our students to be linguists and he helps to inspire them in that”.

Strict requirements.

As Kamal Hanif, CEO at Waverley Education Foundation Trust, a multi-academy trust in Birmingham, said: “There is a very strong sifting, interviewing and moderation process to ensure we get teachers who are ready to teach in our schools.”

There are strict requirements for all secondary teachers taking part in the programme. They must have a Bachelor’s degree in English, Spanish, French, German or translation studies (or equivalent), a Teaching Certificate of Aptitude or a Master’s degree in teaching (or equivalent) and at least one year of teaching experience within the last five years.

Any teacher employed through the programme must be employed as a language specialist.

Candidates also need to have a B2 level English proficiency (meaning they have the necessary fluency to communicate without effort with native speakers), Spanish criminal background checks, a medical form and QTS.

The recruitment process.

The recruitment and placement process is run by Randstad, the DfE’s commercial delivery partner, and gives schools access to a pool of qualified teachers who are passionate about languages and motivated to teach in England.

Schools initially register their interest via the Randstad website. Randstad then contacts the schools to discuss their needs and enables them to access candidate information online.
This information includes candidates’ previous teaching experience and notes from the assessments and interviews conducted by senior leaders from English schools.

The next step of the process is for schools to arrange interviews with their shortlisted candidates – usually via Skype but sometimes by telephone or in person.

Minimising culture shock.

Before joining their schools, successful applicants are provided with an acclimatisation support package. This includes pre-arrival support, a week-long training course on arrival and CPD during their first year in England. Areas covered in the acclimatisation package range from behaviour management and lesson planning to the examination and accountability system in England.

Moving can be a stressful process but the teachers receive help and guidance to cope with the practical arrangements of relocating to England, such as advice on finding somewhere to live, opening a bank account and paying utility bills and council tax.

Find out more.

Randstad works in partnership with the DfE to give state-funded secondary and primary schools access to a pool of qualified MFL teachers through the SVTP. Schools can register their interest and sign up here