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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Teachers move overseas for promise of travel and cultural exploration 

Nearly a third of teachers entering the international school sector were thinking about leaving the profession before taking a job overseas

'The kind of life that I have become accustomed to, it would be very hard to go back to the UK now. The packages, wages, accommodation are incomparable,” said one teacher. Antonie Robertson / The National
'The kind of life that I have become accustomed to, it would be very hard to go back to the UK now. The packages, wages, accommodation are incomparable,” said one teacher. Antonie Robertson / The National

The opportunity to learn about different cultures and the promise of adventure and travel are among the top reasons why teachers chose to work internationally.

A new interim report by the Council of British International Schools revealed that challenging one’s self, dissatisfaction with UK's education system, prospects of career growth and better remuneration are the also the main reasons for teachers to work at destinations across the globe.

Nearly a third of teachers entering the international school sector were thinking about leaving the profession before taking an international job, the Teacher Supply in British International Schools report found.

Charlotte Coade worked as a class teacher at a school in Northampton, UK, for five years, but her career hadn’t progressed at all.

“I had lived in the same area all my life and I didn’t even go away for university. I wanted to be independent and make new connections. I thought it’s a great opportunity for me to enjoy the part of my life that I didn’t have when I went to university,” said Ms Coade.

Ms Coade is a Year Five lead at Kings School Al Barsha now.

“The kind of life that I have become accustomed to, it would be very hard to go back to the UK now. The packages, wages, accommodation are incomparable,” she said.

“I have progressed in my career here and within a couple of years have become a year lead managing five other teachers.”

For the teacher, family is the main reason to go back.

“I can speak with my mum and message her but it’s not the same as seeing my family every single day,” she said.

When teachers were asked about their reasons for returning home after working abroad, family commitments were the main reason according to the report.

Russell Smart was living in Swindon when he decided to move to Dubai with his wife.

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“We were married in the UK, we had a house and a mortgage, and we didn’t expect to leave everything behind. We felt settled,” said Mr Smart, who is now the assistant head teacher at Kings School Al Barsha.

After a friend of the couple’s moved to Dubai, they started exploring the option of moving to the UAE.

“The adventure and lifestyle of Dubai is a big draw. We just came here for a two-year contract and we intended to leave after that. It has been six years and now, we have a family here. Our two years have already become six and they are likely to become eight or ten years,” said Mr Smart.

Clive Pierrepont, director of communications at education provider Taaleem explained that many teachers return home citing ageing parents or family commitments.

“Others have saved enough during their time abroad to get on the property ladder and many to take senior appointments in UK schools,” he concluded.

Updated: May 30, 2018 07:12 PM

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