We'll guide you through the steps of the English Language Assistant application lifecycle. ©

Mat Wright

There are a few different stages to the application process and completion of the English Language Assistant programme.

Read below for comprehensive guidance to the steps you can expect to take during your application.

Last updated: 20/11/2021

Submitting your application and reference

Once you have submitted your application, the referee you listed will receive an automated online form to fill in provide a reference for you. They must only submit your reference by clicking on the link they receive via the email. Referees should not email in a bespoke reference.  

Once your reference has been submitted online, your application will be complete and put forward for assessment.

It's important to be aware that it is your responsibility to ensure that your reference is submitted in time. Your application will not be considered if your application does not include a reference.



Your application will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • motivation
  • adaptability
  • target country cultural awareness
  • teaching experience
  • expression and presentation

Remember that this is a job application for a competitive process and that you should sell yourself using examples and evidence in order to convince us of your suitability for the programme.

Please note that we receive around 4,000 applications every year. All successful applications must be entered onto our database, read, quality assessed, followed up on where necessary, submitted to overseas partner agency and matched to a region.

This is a time-intensive process, so please do not be concerned if you do not hear from us for some time. For more specific information on the timescales involved please consult the project lifecycle

The final school allocation process by which you are allocated to a school is not coordinated by the British Council in the UK but by overseas partner agencies who liaise with local authorities and schools in the target country.

For all countries, applicants may be assessed by telephone interview where areas of their application need to be reviewed or information is missing. We will contact you in advance by email if we require you to participate in a further assessment stage or a telephone interview. 

Video interviews (Canada, Hong Kong and Latin America)

Applicants who have selected Canada, Hong Kong or destinations in Latin America as their first choice will be considered for a further assessment stage (online video interview). These will take place between February and April 2024 and affected candidates will be contacted individually. You should regularly check your emails during this period.

Applicants not selected for a further assessment stage might be offered a transfer to another country provided their application is of a high enough standard and meets the country eligibility.


If you pass our initial assessment stage, we will let you know that we have decided to shortlist and recommend you for a placement to our overseas partners. You will hear whether we have shortlisted you to our overseas partner agencies by May 2024. 



After shortlisting, our overseas partners will make the final decision on your application and by the end of June 2024 we will tell you whether you have a provisional offer of an assistantship from our partners. It's also possible that we will offer you a place on the waiting list. 

International Child Protection certificate

Once your application has been accepted by the overseas partner agency and you have been matched to a region in your chosen country, you will receive a provisional offer of an assistantship, pending receipt of a valid International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC).

The certificate costs £75 and you will be informed how and when to apply for this by the British Council. Your assistantship will not be confirmed until we have received and processed your ICPC.  


If you do not have the pre-existing right to work in the destination to which you are applying (for example, residency or an EU-passport) you will be instructed on how to apply for a visa/residence permit when required.

Preparing for your placement

Over the summer, you will find out further details of your allocated region and institution and will begin making arrangements for contacting your school, finding accommodation, arranging your travel and preparing to teach.

You can find further advice on our prepare for your placement page.

Turing funding

Any queries relating to Turing funding should be directed to the relevant coordinator at your university.


Should you need to withdraw from the programme, you must contact us  by email as soon as possible and outline the reasons for your withdrawal. If you withdraw from the programme we cannot reinstate your application that year. 

Owing to the negative impact that late withdrawals have on the programme, we reserve the right to disqualify any future application from you if you withdraw late on in the process without a valid reason. This is to avoid further damage to the British Council’s reputation with overseas partners and schools.

Deferring your application

Please be aware that it is not possible for candidates to defer their application to a later year. Candidates who are no longer able to complete an assistantship in the current application round should contact us immediately to withdraw their application and then re-submit an application for the following academic year. 

Please be aware however that we reserve the right to disqualify any future application from you if you withdraw late on in the process without a valid reason.

Unsuccessful applications

If your application is not successful you cannot reapply for the programme for the same academic year.

You are welcome to apply again next year.

If you have further questions about the process please see our guide on when and how to contact us.