Careers expert John Howson advises NQTs on teaching overseas and offers advice to overseas trained teachers on the UK jobs market

Induction year overseas

Louise: Are there many schools abroad that offer you to do your NQT year abroad?

John Howson: Here is the TDA note on teaching overseas and Induction:
‘Induction cannot be served in schools abroad, including British schools abroad. However, an NQT will be exempt from doing an induction period in England if they complete induction or the equivalent in one of the following countries: Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Gibraltar, Service Children’s education (SCE) school in Germany or Cyprus.

Four year rule for overseas trained teachers

jethro sylymba: I am currently unemployed and struggling to find a job., I am an OTT and have gained experience in four secondary schools. Due to the nature of the contracts, I was unable to gain my QTS, what can I do? Are there any other fields I can find employment as I have been hit by the four year rule for overseas trained teachers.

John Howson: I assume you have right to work status as you would be unlikely to obtain even a Tier 1 visa to teach. Have you tried the private sector as they are not covered by the four year rule: neither, I think, is the FE sector?

International Baccalaureate experience

J:  I'm a Chemistry teacher in the UK and successfully passed my NQT year last year. I'm Dutch, and I would like to move back to the Netherlands and am interested in starting at an international school. Of course, they emphasize International Baccalaureate experience in their job offers, but I'm unsure on how to go about obtaining this without working at an International school?

John Howson: Every school would like the perfect teacher and when supply exceeds demand they stand more chance of finding what they want. Ask any head and offered the choice between a better teacher without IB experience and a less successful practitioner with IB experience they would opt for the former over the latter. Someone with both sets of skills would hold a trump card. So, by all means apply and sell your skills and willingness to learn about the IB. If you can provide some evidence of teaching an unfamiliar curriculum successfully that may help. Obviously, if that isn’t working you may need to look for a post in a school that teaches the IB in the UK, but, why would they employ you either? If there are any courses about science and the IB by the ASE or other organizations that might also be worth considering. Find out more about the IB

Changing jobs after one year

MJ:  I worked in Switzerland for a year and I'm now in Moscow for one year and I'm thinking about moving on. I've only done one year in each school but some people are telling me to stay for one more year. I don't want to stay some place I'm not happy but can I afford to do another one year contract? Does it look like I'm running and schools won't hire me? Should I just stay here for another year and get two years over and done with even though I'm not happy here?

John Howson: If you are not happy find a third school where you will be. This means paying careful attention at interview to the factors that have made you unhappy in your first two years and looking for the signs. In the international school market movement can be more frequent than in a national school market but some sense of stability at a point can indicate a willingness to commit to an organization. But better t o find a school where you can be happy. Check out the latest international vacancies on TES Jobs.

Spanish teacher wanting to teach RE

Adolfo: I am a Spanish teacher with very little experience on secondary stage teaching Ethics, Philosophy and Citizenship. I have a degree in philosophy and I have applied several times for religious education posts in secondary. But I am afraid, I will never be recruited. So I think I would rather apply for a position in the Spanish subject. I have been working as a journalist/writer in a daily newspaper. Do you think it is a better option for me?

John Howson: Buenos Dias. I think it might be easier to find a job teaching Spanish in a school where you can offer to help with RE and even humanities. Many schools need some periods in a subject ‘filled’ in by other teachers to balance the timetable so the more subjects you are prepared to teach the better it may be, but teachers from Europe do tend to be considered primarily as a language teacher even when it isn’t their key subject area. I assume you have teaching status in Spain and have registered with the GTCE  as if you have not done so that may be holding you back as well.

Read more on teaching overseas

Working overseas - the pros and cons - with teacher vacancies in short supply in the UK, more teachers are considering a move abroad


Reads 9002

For more advice, jobs and support for new teachers subscribe to The TES. View our best offer for new and trainee teachers now.