British international schools may the hold key to addressing teacher shortage – COBIS
It’s a question the entire education sector is asking: how do we resolve the teacher shortage in the UK? Well, according to recent findings from the Council of British International Schools (COBIS), international schools may very well hold the solution.
Earlier this week, COBIS announced findings from a major research project, which looked into the flow of teachers entering and leaving the British international schools segment. It has put forward a set of innovative, positive solutions to effectively address the UK’s teacher shortage, after discovering that international schools can provide the opportunities, experiences and training required to inspire graduates to join the profession, and teachers to remain in it.
A total 77% of outgoing teachers told COBIS they are happy or very happy with their experience of teaching abroad, with the figure rising to 81% among new, international teachers. Here are some other findings from the report:
Many factors inspire teachers to move abroad
Teachers surveyed gave many different reasons for choosing to move abroad to teach, though the main motivations were travel and cultural exploration (71%). These were followed by enjoyment and challenge (63%), dissatisfaction with the home education system (47%), career growth (45%) and salary (44%).
Moving overseas a temporary endevour
The majority of teachers who leave the UK to join an international school will move home after a number of years. Specifically, 26% of returning teachers worked internationally for 3-4 years, while 71% moved home within ten years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the two main reasons teachers returned to their home country were family commitments (44%) and simply a desire to move back to the UK.
International teachers gain wealth of skills and experience
With career growth important for many teachers, international schools facilitate this by allowing them to gain a wealth of experience and transferable skills. For instance, 79% of teachers said they have developed better cultural awareness, 76% have a improved global outlook/international mindedness, and 58% believe they find adaptability easier. Importantly, 53% of teachers report a renewed enthusiasm for teaching.
International schools make teaching an attractive career
As COBIS notes, the chance to work both at home and overseas is helping to make teaching a highly-attractive career. It’s also inspiring the 32% of teachers considering quitting the profession to stay in the classroom.
COBIS notes that many expats teach in some of the best schools in the world, and that creating a conflict between domestic and overseas supply would be counterintuitive. Instead, COBIS suggests a new, co-operative approach from UK and international sectors that involve:
1. Promoting attractive professional opportunities – positioning teaching as a global career choice.
2. Boosting international training opportunities – overseas teaching schools and overseas recruitment into ITT.
3. Valuing overseas service – facilitating return to the UK.
Partnering with eTeach international
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