Thousands of UK teachers to join international schools

New research predicts that tens of thousands of teachers will move abroad to teach over the next ten years, as international schools look to hire more staff from the UK.

Figures from ISC Research, cited by Schools Week, suggest English-medium international schools will aim to recruit an extra 145,000 teachers from the British Isles over the coming decade. This would see more than double the number of British teachers joining international schools.

In England, just under 28,000 people underwent teacher training in 2017-18. The targets set by international schools mean they would need to recruit more than half of all UK trainee teachers over the next decade.

ISC Research collected its data from 1,020 premium international schools, which account for 10.5% of the total market. Currently, British teachers account for approximately one quarter of staff at these schools.

Higher salaries, career development opportunities and free or subsidised accommodation and flights are just some of the factors inspiring teachers to join international schools.

In comparison, a study from the National Union of Teachers revealed that approximately one in five teachers working in England didn’t receive a cost-of-living pay increase at the beginning of this academic year. Meanwhile, recent Labour Party data showed teachers are over £5,000 a year worse off than in 2010.

TEFL Org UK, which trains people from Britain to teach English as a foreign language overseas, has also experienced rising numbers of teachers taking its courses. The company’s most recent graduate survey shows the number of people enrolling on TEFL courses jumped from 4.5% of the total cohort in 2012, to 14.2% in 2015 and 17% in 2017.

TEFL Org UK currently trains around 16,000 people each year, but predicts this will rise to 20,000.

ISC Research’s director of schools, Richard Gaskell, believes British universities could help to fill roles abroad by accepting more international students for education degrees and PGCEs. Gaskell said this could play a part in meeting “the increased demand for British education worldwide.”

Yet, a DfE spokesperson commented it is a “top priority” to ensure that teaching is “an attractive and fulfilling profession in the UK.”

Thinking of making the move abroad to fall back in love with teaching? Contact our International recruitment team to find out how. 



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