Just as there are many language schools in London, so there are many students and teachers.
Many people who have just completed their TEFL course make their way to London to find employment and gain teaching experience. Many foreigners from other English-speaking countries – like Australia and New Zealand – come to London because it has a booming TEFL market but also because it’s easier to adjust to than other countries because there is no language barrier. At the same time, even though there are many teachers, language schools generally have a high turnover rate so there are usually vacancies opening up quite regularly.
When you have completed your TEFL course, the first thing to do is decide where you want to work. Choose an area around London – maybe close to where you live – and find out what languages schools are in that area. While there are many websites where you can find job postings (Gumtree.com or tefl.com), because there will be so many applicants to any one job, it is useful if you are already in London to do this face to face. So update your CV, write a prospective cover letter, put on some clean clothes and hit the streets. You can try and make an appointment to see the Director of Studies or Assistant Director of Studies at a school, but they are often busy. If you can’t, introduce yourself to the receptionist and give her your CV. Make sure all your contact details are correct.
What’s usually necessary is to make it clear that you are available for cover work or short-term contracts. If you are willing to be put on a cover list, then you are making yourself available to early morning phone calls asking you to stand in for a sick or absent teacher. This is not easy as you will have very little time to prepare and need to be able to get ready for a class fairly quickly, but if you become known as reliable and trustworthy, this is a great way to get a foot in the door. With short-term contracts you may be asked to teach a certain group of students who are in town for only a week or so (a so-called closed group). Then, later, if a vacancy becomes available in the school, the Director of Studies will already be familiar with you and offer you the full-time position.