Finding EFL teaching work in London – A Quick Guide | TEFL Jobs London

Finding EFL teaching work in London – A Quick Guide

By Neil Root
Neil Root is a writer and London based English Language teacher with 10 years experience.

Finding Tefl Jobs In London- A Quick Guide

Photograph by Mike Peel ( [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Most TEFL teachers in London are freelance, unless they are lucky enough to have a secure position. Due to the economic recession and Euro Crisis and the tightening up of Home Office visa requirements in the last two years, these jobs have never been more difficult to find. This means that to be a TEFL teacher in London you have to be something of a maverick to keep going. Although there ways to survive.

Sites such as TEFL Jobs London regularly advertise jobs so it is well worth checking regularly. Due to the number of TEFL teachers looking and the lack of teaching hours in off-peak times of the year, it is often first-come, first-served. The early CELTA/Trinity TESOL/DELTA bird catches the TEFL worm. The only TEFL agency in London is Evocation, and it is well worth being on their books although rates of pay may be less than if you are employed directly by the school. Aside from that, it really is a case of using your own initiative.

Relationships with DOSs and Academic Managers crucial

Once you have taught in London for a year or two, and not just in the summer when jobs are easy to find, you’ll build up a network of TEFL contacts, with Directors of Studies and Academic Managers. These relationships are crucial, and if you are a good teacher you will usually get repeat work. The website Gumtree London has a TEFL Jobs section, and this is also worth checking, but beware that some less scrupulous schools sometimes advertise on here. Run a search engine check of the school, if you have the name, and if you go to interview, have a good look at their approach, resources and professionalism. Are they British Council, and if not, are you satisfied that you will be paid on time and be given the hours promised? The jobs advertised on are normally reputable, but as this is the No.1 site, these jobs go very fast and you have to move quickly.

Calling and emailing schools with your CV can be soul-destroying, but it is worth doing even when they are not advertising. With your CV on file, when a vacancy comes up, their stock of CVs is often the first point of call. Personalise your approach, and make regular follow-up calls if you need work. This kind of networking can pay real dividends, but of course you have to be enthusiastic and very flexible. And it may lead to that permanent position you really want.

So use your resources, think fast and apply early, and don’t be afraid to be a self-starter- the TEFL industry in London demands it!


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One Response to “Finding EFL teaching work in London – A Quick Guide”

  1. Martin Richards
    December 13, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Hi Neil, thanks for the mention. You are right, we are the only EFL agency (others cover ESOL, but that’s another story). It’s also true to say a teacher would earn more if paid direct by a school, but this is a very casual sector I’m afraid. The schools seem reluctant to recruit direct and that probably reflects the very seasonal nature of the business. We are always taking new teachers with first degree plus CELTA/Trinity onto our books, but until February or March, there won’t be much work to offer. I think in London, the most successful teachers are those with three or four strings to their bow who can juggle their various interests (including work offered by Evocation EFL) and make it all add up. We certainly see plenty of successful mavericks!