CLAIM: Zimbabwean teachers are among foreign teachers targeted by the United Kingdom to plug in staffing gaps in its public schools, according to a notice circulating widely on local social media where some have doubted its authenticity.

Is this true or false?

Verdict: True.

Part of the notice that has gone viral reads:  Not sure if you know… Teaching has been added on the shortage list and Zimbabwe is one of the countries chosen for teachers to come to UK. If you know any teacher interested, share with them the link below and so they can apply. From February 2023 teachers are needed, so they better hurry but it’s good news that Zimbabwe is one of the chosen countries.”

From 1 February 2023, Zimbabwe is among nine countries from which qualified teachers will be able to apply to Teaching Regulations Agency for QTS, according to the government website.

Other countries include Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa and Ukraine.

A spokesperson for the UK Embassy in Harare confirmed that the website  link that has been circulating is genuine.

According to the government website, there are specific qualification requirements needed for teachers coming from overseas.

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is required however, applicants from overseas have a 4-year exemption for their first years of living in the UK to teach in maintained schools (schools funded by local education authority) without the QTS.

To qualify for the exemption, one must have qualified as a teacher in a country outside UK, successfully completed a course of teacher training recognised by the organisation that regulates teachers in the country where they qualified.

However, according to the government website, it is not a legal requirement for a teacher in academies and free schools to have QTS. Teaching assistants and instructors for vocational subjects are exempted and not obliged to obtain QTS.