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Advice for Prospective UK Teachers

Mitch is one of our Australian consultants helping recruit teachers for the UK. Recently he was contacted by Camilla, a teacher who he had worked with several years ago, regarding the recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald about UK education recruitment.


Here is an excerpt of her email to Mitch from 17th Jan 2017 that she wanted published:


First things first; this is an unsolicited referral. After reading the recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald I felt compelled to contact Mitch at Protocol and let him know that this definitely wasn't reflective of my experience, and from meeting with other teachers it isn't reflective of theirs either. 


I have been teaching for over 10 years as a classroom teacher, Head of Department and School Principal. Once I had made the decision that I was going to teach in the UK, several things slotted into place quite easily.  The first thing was choosing the right agent to promote me.  I chatted via email and phone to five big players in the UK/Australian/NZ teacher recruitment game and Protocol was a clear winner for me.


I dealt with Mitch here in Australia, and Katie in London.  I had an area in mind, in London. and that was how Katie became my UK go to person.


With my experience of teaching here in Australia and over in the UK here is my advice:


My first piece of  advice includes this:  look at the map of the UK and chose where you want to live.  To do that, you need to think about accommodation and why you are going to the UK.  Is it to travel to Europe?  If so, think about airports ( cheap routes to Europe)  I chose Watford because it was cheaper to live there, lots of school choices, still on the London Underground and with overground train choices.

I am an experienced teacher and this does perhaps make things a bit easier.  I told Katie and Mitch what my bottom line was, daily, and they met that, and for my last appointment exceeded it.  What they made on top, their commission?  I haven’t a clue!  Protocol is a business, and if it doesn’t make a profit it cannot trade.  I was happy with my daily rate.  


Second piece of advice: Pay - think about what you need to earn, add on 10% for a contingency – if you can not achieve that, don’t go. DO NOT get involved with umbrella companies, limited companies etc.  Pay your tax like anyone else because if you start getting involved with things that sound like a scam, don't complain if you are scammed.


Third point:  be realistic.  Teaching is not a 9-3pm job.  It’s 8 – 4, or 9-5, here there, or anywhere. Workloads are high and stress is too. But that's teaching.


Fourth point: - If you have a problem tell Protocol.  Not everything was perfect for me. The first job which held out a lot of promise was more me wearing rose tinted glassed than reality!  Katie when I updated her, had me moved within a day, and,  into a school that was a joy. I would go back to that  school  in a heartbeat if stars aligned.


Fifth point: if you are a newly qualified teacher, you are learning your craft.  To do that you need to be in a school which will provide you with support.  So ask and have in writing what support you will get.  If you are an experienced teacher like myself, sort out before you walk through the door as to what you are prepared to do. Don't assume anything.


In regards to work what are your choices?

Day to day – called supply in the UK – it’s often like baby sitting.  You walk in, everything is ready for you, and your teaching is next to nil.  

Temporary roles you will be expected to mark, but programs and resources are made available. Parent contact & extra duties of any sort aren't expected but it may be handy to put your name forward. Whilst it may not lead to extra pay it does make a very good impression on the school and can open doors for you.. 


Is it worth it?  Damn skippy it is.  You can step out of a class on a Friday afternoon and be in Paris by 8pm.  Or fly to Spain or $30. Or spend your weekends exploring all the UK has to offer, and a lot of it is free to do.  But choose your agent with care. My advice?  Use Protocol - it's as simple as that.



If you're unsure of your options for teaching in the UK then just email your local consultant for more info. As the UK's largest education staffing agency we aim to provide the highest level of service to teachers, both before they leave their home country and once they arrive.  We aim for transparency when it comes to the entire recruitment process.


Tags: Teaching in London, Mitch, Protocol Education, Australian teachers in the UK

Category: Australian Teachers

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