8 tips to find a good international school

Published on 16th February, 2016 by Owen Richards. Published in For Candidates / TIC News

Make sure your next international school job move is the right one

Moving overseas to work is a big step without the added worry of knowing if the school you are moving to is a good one or not.  How do you find a good school with a great reputation? Here are eight tips to help you:

1. Check out the website.

Review it in great detail. How does the school’s educational philosophy align with yours? How long has the school been established? What curricula does the school follow? How many students on roll? What are the facilities like? Does it sound right for you?

2. Is the school accredited?

Most of the good and outstanding international schools are accredited by one of a few reputable accreditation bodies. The main independent bodies are the Council of International Schools (CIS), Centre for British Teachers (CfBT) , and AdvancED.  If a school is accredited, it will tell you on its website, usually on the home page.

3. Is the school a member of an international association?

There are several global international school associations and also some regional international school associations. Most of these bodies have a set of standards for membership and several have their own accreditation. Look on the school’s website to see if it is an established member of one of these associations. Be careful of schools that say they are applying for membership, particularly if that application has been ongoing for more than one year. You can always contact the association to verify the membership of a school. See an extensive list of international school associations here (LINK)

4. Has the school had an inspection?

Most international schools are inspected by local authorities, though they may not be obliged to have a full Ofsted style inspection, and the reports may not be easy to understand or compare. Some schools, however, choose to go through an internationally-recognised process to ensure their standards are maintained. Inspections are, in the most part, carried out by the Independent School Inspectorate, Cambridge Education, Penta, Ofsted or the CfBT Education Trust. International schools in Dubai are all inspected through the KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority) which works in partnership with CfBT to conduct the inspections.

5. Is the school recommended by a reputable recruitment agency?

TIC will only work with international schools that we know are reputable, that we have visited and vetted. This process includes interviewing existing teachers and staff, developing a close relationship with school leadership, touring the location, and assessing resources and facilities first hand.

6. Have you talked to other teachers?

It’s fairly easy to find teachers who are working at any school, anywhere in the world, through social media. Don’t forget every teacher will see the school through their own eyes, but it is possible to get personal feedback and consensus from a number of current and past employees. TIC keeps in touch with all the teachers it places so can also put you in touch with any teacher who may have worked at the school you are considering.

7. Have you sought independent advice?

A reputable recruitment agency should give you unbiased advice and will be able to guide you to the right sort of school for you. International schools vary enormously in ethos, learning and teaching approach, curricula and examinations, teacher demographics and support, school size and enrolment, location and much more so it’s very important to match the right school with your experience, needs and preferences.

8. Will you be happy there?

Two years may not sound like a long time, but it’s a big commitment when moving overseas. Make sure the school fits your needs rather than just picking any good school. It needs to suit your own teaching experiences, style and career plans.

Finding the right international school job for you is an important step in teaching overseas. TIC Recruitment can support you through every step of the process - from job-hunting to placement. Register with TIC Recruitment today and check out our latest vacancies. 

You might also be interested in these informative blogs:
International School Associations
Harrow Shanghai to open August 2016
What’s the best thing about teaching overseas?

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Owen Richards

Owen works in media relations and marketing. His main focus is working with the press on features about teachers who have moved overseas to teach internationally.