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Teaching in England, what is it like?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭ ProfanityURL


    There are a number of organisations recruiting teachers from Ireland to fill vacancies for schools in England. With the current job situation here it might seem like an attractive idea to many newly qualified teachers.

    Has anyone got any experience of teaching in England that could shed some light on what it is like? I've heard rumours that its like teaching practice all over again with the lesson plans and other paperwork and other things that make it seem less attractive than many of the recruitment agencies have made out. Any info on hours, pay, conditions, types of schools, etc. would be greatly appreciated.


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  • Working in the UK hasnt been as much work as I thought it would be. I only plan lessons if I'm been observed, which isnt that often. I have to follow department policy on marking books and reporting on student progress but more experienced teachers are great at offering advice on shortcuts that cut down this workload. Theyre also great at sharing resources that makes say to day planning of lessons a doddle. I'm working in an outstanding school so there are no behavioural issues and I really enjoy it.

    What are your subjects? If you have subjects that are in short supply you can afford to be fussy about the areas and types of school you apply to. I can suggest the agency I worked through if you want to pm me.




  • I agree. The rumour mill of paperwork in English schools is extremely exaggerated. I completed the dip in Wales and loved the schools I taught in. My experience of other staff members has also been very positive, such a helpful and generous nature in terms of resource sharing and helping with the paper work.. I have been teaching in Ireland 5 years and paperwork has steadily increased over those 5 years so to be honest not far apart at the minute. A major reason for my decision to come back to teach in Ireland was the massive difference in pay scales but to be honest for new entrants the pay difference is not a major issue now and I also found the cost of living in the UK to be somewhat lower than that in Ireland.




  • I did my PGCE in Wales but came home straight away when I finished, an option that isn't available anymore.

    I taught in two schools in Cardiff, one was excellent, one was tough.

    I'd say to check OFSTED reports & maybe look at Wales & Scotland ahead of England.




  • I've just completed two terms teaching my second subject and the pressure we are all under was ridiculous. Unfortunately my experience has been far from enjoyable, and for the last six or seven weeks, it was get up, go to school, teaching until 3.20, stay until 6.30/7ish planning, coming home, eating and going to bed. All the members of staff in my department were wrecked by the end of this term, people gong home at 4.30 to sleep, then get up and work until 1 or 2 in the morning. The school I was in scraped good in their last OFSTED, and are heading towards requires improvement. My two friends in another school are the same, all the problems coming from the senior leadership team in the school. Hours spent on planning and doing reports. We were told as NQTs that we had to be writing formal lesson plans for every lesson, and we were told by SLT that for OFSTED we are supposed to have full lesson plans - people are working long hours and now putting another two hours of work on top of people is madness, of course the quality of teaching is going to be poorer because people are tired.

    The school I experienced were not very supportive to staff, and they have targeted a number of staff to get rid of by putting enormous pressure on their shoulders, and are paranoid about OFSTED. They have also told barefaced lies about some recruitment decisions they made, and I lost confidence in them a long time ago.

    Maths teachers and Geography teachers are in short supply, and if you are going looking to go through an agency, then have a look at ratemyteachingagency before you do, I found out things about my agency that if I knew that before I signed on, then I wouldn't have. I'm looking for a new job atm and teaching my first subject in PE.

    Resources wise, it was fantastic, but be careful about what school and agency you end up with.




  • I went to England and spent 3 years in the Cambridgeshire area. I had a good experience on the whole really- yes tere is more paperwork but it is becoming like that in Ireland now anyway so if u are a new teacher u are better off going to get the experience! I met loads of new friends and my fiancée!!!!! So choose ur location and school carefully. I went thru iday and they picked my interview schools according to what type if school I wanted ie. not a complete DUmP! Go thru iday u can't go wrong!good luck!! :D
    There are a number of organisations recruiting teachers from Ireland to fill vacancies for schools in England. With the current job situation here it might seem like an attractive idea to many newly qualified teachers.

    Has anyone got any experience of teaching in England that could shed some light on what it is like? I've heard rumours that its like teaching practice all over again with the lesson plans and other paperwork and other things that make it seem less attractive than many of the recruitment agencies have made out. Any info on hours, pay, conditions, types of schools, etc. would be greatly appreciated.


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  • Yes u can afford to be choosey depending on ur subjects! The below post sounds like its been scripted by an agency lol!!!!

    aunt aggie wrote: »
    Working in the UK hasnt been as much work as I thought it would be. I only plan lessons if I'm been observed, which isnt that often. I have to follow department policy on marking books and reporting on student progress but more experienced teachers are great at offering advice on shortcuts that cut down this workload. Theyre also great at sharing resources that makes say to day planning of lessons a doddle. I'm working in an outstanding school so there are no behavioural issues and I really enjoy it.

    What are your subjects? If you have subjects that are in short supply you can afford to be fussy about the areas and types of school you apply to. I can suggest the agency I worked through if you want to pm me.




  • Reminder to all to avoid using txt spk here. This is a Teaching and Lecturing forum. Thanks.




  • mel84 wrote: »
    Yes u can afford to be choosey depending on ur subjects! The below post sounds like its been scripted by an agency lol!!!!

    Nope. Its my honest opinion. After all the horrific stories I was told before moving to England, I'm genuinely surprised at how well its going. That said I work in an outstanding schools where staff have a lot more freedom. And as a maths teacher I was very picky when jobhunting.




  • aunt aggie wrote: »
    Nope. Its my honest opinion. After all the horrific stories I was told before moving to England, I'm genuinely surprised at how well its going. That said I work in an outstanding schools where staff have a lot more freedom. And as a maths teacher I was very picky when jobhunting.

    Which agency did you go through??




  • I signed up to Engage Education a few days ago and had my interview yesterday. I'm not sure of the area yet anywhere around London.


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  • Thinking of making the move to London I'm an English teacher.
    Just wondering can anyone suggest the nicer areas to teach in? Also how is the school day structured, length of classes and what is the pay like for a full timetable.

    Thanks!




  • Hey everyone! If anyone is looking for a company that only do permanent positions (you get paid for your holidays!!!!! And are employed by the school) check out KS Education. They are a small company and don't treat their teachers like cattle farming them out to schools!!!!!! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ks-Education/347091222063694?ref=ts&fref=ts




  • I signed up to Engage Education a few days ago and had my interview yesterday. I'm not sure of the area yet anywhere around London.


    How did you find them? I thought they were very pressurizing and the pay they were offering is not good at all. The school I went to for interview was awful :(:(




  • So I was lucky enough to get funding for a postgrad here in Ireland, however lots of my class went to England and from the feedback that I have gotten from all those people would suggest that it is not a good idea.

    So far several of the people who went over have left and come back to Ireland, even though the job situation here is crap. Even apart from all the behavioural problems that teachers have to deal with, the paperwork, correcting and hectic timetables seem to be the major problem. And if you do get a good school like a 1 or 2 ofsted rating that just means that you have even more paperwork to do because the school expects so much more from their teachers.

    Compared to that a few people went to Dubai and seem to really enjoy it. The money is better, expenses are very low with rent and bills usually paid for as part of the job and food and drink are dead cheap too by the sounds of things, plus Dubai is very western so you can drink and go to bars and clubs at the weekend. From a neutral perspective here in Ireland and getting the feedback from both sides, I would advise anyone looking for teaching work abroad to avoid England and look at options in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. But look further than just SABIS as I think they are at the lower end of the scale in terms of pay.




  • Teaching in England is very different to home, but I think working here teaches you so much more than you'd learn subbing at home.

    I've just done my 4th week here and yes, some days I want to leave/hide in bed/ pull a sickie. BUT it's because I'm an NQT and of course my first 'real' teaching job will be difficult. I feel like I've already accumulated loads of teaching ideas to use next year.

    I find the staff support brilliant here and love the sense of working as part of a department. There's always help at hand. I worked in an Irish school for a while after my dip and I felt very isolated, other teachers barely spoke to me in the staff room.

    I would say to anyone coming over have a behavior management plan/strategy ready to use when you arrive. I landed in totally unprepared and am playing catch up getting classes settled. Ne well prepared.




  • I have one friend who also finds the support network very good, but several who have had the opposite experience. They have been given huge workloads from day one with little to no support which is why they have all been coming home. There are definitely good schools over there, the problem I think is that there is no way of knowing beforehand. You might have an idea that the school you're going to is good because it's highly rated or there is a lack of behavioural problems, but as I've said often when this is the case the management may expect a hell of a lot more from you in terms of working extra hours and keeping up on paperwork and corrections, with no way of knowing if the support network will be good or not.

    I keep getting snaps from my friend in Dubai chilling out after work by his rooftop pool with a beer in his apartment complex where all the teachers live (for free) and he was on safari in Kenya last month during mid-term. He gets 2000 a month tax free with bills and accom included and living there is dirt cheap, so not only can he enjoy himself over there he will also come home with good savings as well as a years experience, and its proper science teaching not tefl or anything like that. On the other hand almost all of my friends in england are struggling financially. If I wasn't doing a postgrad and I was looking for teaching work I wouldn't hesitate about going to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, however England would really be a last resort judging by the majority of the feedback I have received.




  • As soon as my NQT year is finished I'm out of here. It's really hard being here by yourself. I'd try and come over with someone on your course. You'd be better off drinking with your mates at home and complaining about things than being here.




  • I will admit that I seem to be skint all the time! I thought I'd have plenty to live off but the bills all add up. The working hours are a bit mad alright, I've just spent an hour getting resources ready for ONE lesson tomorrow...

    Teaching in Dubai sounds amazing from what you describe.

    I'm over here for a maternity leave so 6 months and I'm gone too.

    It is hard coming alone.




  • I never have any money either, I'm always -0. Paper work is horrendous.




  • I haven't had to do much paper work yet.. but CAs coming up and dreading the marking and logging stuff.

    What kind of paperwork are you doing? What should I expect?

    Just got hit with a load of bills and I'm only here 4 weeks. You with Engage? That JSA payroll system is a rip off I think. They're taking 35£ a week from me! Grrrr.


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  • Hey ProfanityURL

    Have to say I really disagree with you-and since you haven't taught in the UK you don't have a personal experience. I am in a fantastic school in Kent- it's a Catholic school and the staff are so so supportive of all Irish teachers there.

    I do agree people have mixed experiences but I do think it's down to the school you end up and also the support that you get- I went with a really really great agency and they were a really amazing support to me and still are-even though I am permanent with my school now. With most agencies you cant go perm until you are a year with them but with mine I only did 4 weeks through the agency and then once they made sure I was happy, I went permanent with the school. the first agency I dealt with were really not good and I felt like a piece of meat so my advice is to shop around!


    It's one thing going to the UAE yes the weather is good and all that but even if you do a year there you STILL have to get your hours done for the Teaching Council in Ireland!

    Anyone looking for a great agency, pm me and I will give you the details, also anyone in Kent that is looking for advice etc. I am happy to help! :):)

    The UAE is grand but your hours are not recognised for the Teaching Council in Ireland.




  • It's great that you have had such a good experience but I would imagine that you belong to the minority there.

    As I said I am just posting feedback based on what I have heard from both cases. I know there are some great schools over there, but as you said its a case of shopping around and really doing your research, because the agencies will tell you anything about the school to get you over there.

    When I started this thread I was looking for info because of the fact that there are so many mixed experiences and its hard to know what to believe. But if I was in a situation again where I was looking for work abroad it would be UAE all the way, and while its true that you don't have a fully qualified teacher status, you do get a years experience which gives you a great shot at getting a job back home and doing your NQT year in Ireland. That being said, if a job came up in a school like yours and there was someone like you in a position to give accurate advice about the school and the staff then it would definitely be worth considering. But I don't think that there are a whole pile of schools like that over there from what I have been told, which is why they are so mad for Irish teachers in the first place, the staff turnover rate is ridiculous.




  • For what it's worth, I got placed in an excellent school on a permanent contract through an agency in England.

    Excellent support for staff, and you only have to ask if you want to undertake more professional development. My teaching has benefited greatly from it.

    I would agree that it is a case of choosing a school that will suit you. The idea that all schools here are hell holes and teaching is a nightmare is slightly exaggerated however. Although I am sure that in some schools this is the case.




  • To be honest, I'm happy enough in the school I'm in atm, haven't looked for a permanent job yet as I'm half thinking of heading further afield or going back doing further study!




  • One thing I will say about the kids in England - they don't seem to be able to work as independently as the kids in Ireland. For assessments, basic essays or exam questions some of them do need to be practically spoonfed answers, which places a lot more responsibility on the teacher. For example, this week I gave my year 10's a sample answer for them to read over in class (persuasive writing) and asked them to highlight some of the features they saw. Nearly every one of them threw it in the bin on the way out, because it didn't simply occur to them to hang onto it and read and re-read it before the exam the next week. (it was a sample A-grade essay) When I asked them why they didn't think to use it and read it again, they stared at me with blank faces and replied 'you never told us to.' Some of them can't tell the date unless you write it on the board for them, much less remember to bring a pen. (it's a really posh, well-off school so not affording pens isn't an excuse) As for doing assessments, they cannot write a f*****n sentence without calling me over to check, re-check and practically rewrite it for them because they cannot check basic sentences themselves.

    This was a big shock because, in Ireland the kids are able to bring notes home, study them and practice the skills in their own time for homework and so on. They usually have the cop-on to hold on to notes and resources because they might be useful come exam/essay time. Here, they don't seem to at all and you really have to mollycoddle them.




  • Is your school an independent school?

    I have to say I'm blown away by some of the stuff my Year 8s are writing and they're not even top sets. Also, some of my 7s are proper little writers! They're way more advanced than the 1st or 2nd years at home.I have never witnessed an Irish student using semi -colons or a proper range of punctuation for effect. I do find my Year 10s lazy though so maybe it's an age thing.

    The not having pens etc drives me nuts. I think a little more responsibility there would benefit them.

    It's taking me a while to get on the active learning thing - I've been doing way too much teacher talk. They're very used to doing group work and active learning tasks in my school.

    Oh the joys of Sunday evening prep! Stressing about all the assessments I have to get through this week. Gaaaa!




  • Heading to Kent to observe for a week in January, Holmesdale outside of Maidstone if anyone knows anything about the place?




  • phish wrote: »
    Heading to Kent to observe for a week in January, Holmesdale outside of Maidstone if anyone knows anything about the place?


    Heya yes I know it- are you going with an agency? Is it Holmesdale technology college?




  • Heydeldel wrote: »
    I haven't had to do much paper work yet.. but CAs coming up and dreading the marking and logging stuff.

    What kind of paperwork are you doing? What should I expect?

    Just got hit with a load of bills and I'm only here 4 weeks. You with Engage? That JSA payroll system is a rip off I think. They're taking 35£ a week from me! Grrrr.


    Heydeldel

    WHAT? £35 per week??????? MY PAYROLL COMPANY ONLY CHARGE £6 per week??????? How are you living???


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  • becklyncho wrote: »
    Heya yes I know it- are you going with an agency? Is it Holmesdale technology college?

    Ya thats the one going over for college for a week and was just wondering what the school/area is like?


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