A solution to the UK teacher shortage?
Last week, TIC’s Managing Director, Andrew Wigford wrote a thought-provoking article for International Teacher Magazine suggesting a possible solution to the teacher employment challenge that faces both the UK and the international schools market.
Andrew’s article looked at interesting research from the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) that identified that teaching overseas has helped to prevent teachers from leaving the profession. Of the 1,600 international teachers involved in the study, nearly a third were considering leaving teaching before moving overseas. However, these previously dissatisfied teachers found that working at an international school restored their passion and enthusiasm for teaching.
Andrew suggests that schools in the UK could benefit significantly from teachers who have international teaching experience due to the fact that they develop new skills and experiences to bring back to UK classrooms. A shift in mind-set needs to take place said Andrew: ‘If more teachers from the UK decide to move overseas, then valuing rather than restricting that choice is the approach that British government and UK schools could take in order to create a global talent pool that works both ways,’ he wrote.
To create a global pool of teaching talent, Andrew believes the UK government could do more to welcome teachers back to the UK. He’d like schools to recognise international experience when considering teachers’ salaries, and for teachers to have access to association, union and pension support while working overseas.
Schools in the UK as well as overseas can contribute towards a more global perspective, suggested Andrew in his article: ‘This is already being achieved in a range of ways by some schools and school groups, including teacher exchanges, participation in workshops and summer schools that involve teachers from all types and locations of schools, the sharing of cultural and geographic narratives in learning through skype collaborations between classes in different countries, and embracing the benefits of a global talent pool; valuing teachers wherever they have taught’, he wrote.
By working together, Andrew believes that both international schools and UK schools can help create a ‘collaborative community of global talent’ that will benefit, rather than threaten, the UK education system. Read Andrew’s entire article here