Our recent survey about the high proportion of teachers looking to work abroad has revealed a demographic time bomb that could hit the industry over the next few years. Here we look at the figures – and ask you for your views…
The recent Eteach poll suggested that more than a third of UK teachers are actively looking for work overseas in the hope of finding better working conditions. Some 34.6% of almost 800 teachers questioned said they are actively looking for a position abroad, while a similar proportion are “open” to the idea.
Problems for schools
These findings could spell problems for schools in the UK, as many of those looking to move abroad have years of experience. Three in ten (30.7%) of those saying they want to work overseas have between six and ten years’ experience, while a quarter (24.9%) have been teachers for between 16 and 20 years.
The survey also revealed that many older teachers are now looking abroad – 27.9% of those polled who are searching for jobs overseas are between 41 and 50 years old, and 26.9% are between 31 and 40.
Great teachers looking to move permanently
This could create a demographic time bomb for schools – with around a third of heads set to retire before 2012.
Eteach chief executive Paul Howells says that there’s been a marked increase in the demand for international posts, often by very experienced teachers. He says that while teaching abroad can add a whole new dimension to a teacher’s career prospects, and to their classroom when they return to the UK, he’s most concerned about the great teachers looking to move permanently:
“We all need to address the reasons why they are leaving – we can’t do anything about the ones looking for better weather but we shouldn’t be losing excellent, experienced teachers because of working conditions.”
Would you like to work overseas? Are you one of those actively looking for a post abroad, or might you consider it in the future? Why? Is it just about the weather, or does it run deeper than that? Share your views and experiences with the Eteach so we can all learn more about this trend.