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Advice on transitioning from teaching in England to Scotland

Discussion in 'Scotland - prospective teachers' started by Chemistree16, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. Chemistree16

    Chemistree16 New commenter

    I am looking to relocate from teaching in England to teaching Scotland. I completed my High School and University qualifications in Scotland, but have completed my PGCE and teaching practice so far in England (Teacher of Science). I am also now registered to teach with GTCS. I have started the application process by applying for a position via Teach in Scotland but was turned down for the position despite having done it in a school in England, and I haven't seen many positions come up since.

    I was wondering if anyone has had success in relocating to teach or being considered for positions despite the differences between the Curricula?

    Another key difference is that I haven't had any experience of teaching PSHE because it just isn't taught in the same format as in Scotland. I believe it is embedded as part of religious and personal studies curriculum at my particular school.

    Are there any Principle Teachers or Senior Leaders that could comment on if this would particularly put them off hiring me?

    Does anyone have advice about how easy it is to get a teaching position within a Local Authority if you aren't already teaching in one? Would it be easier to get a job after taking up a temporary position for example?
  2. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    All our PSHE is taught by the same teacher, and that's the bulk of their teaching. I moved from England to Scotland and have never been timetabled for PSHE, though I had endured teaching it in England. It took me about 10 goes to get appointed to a teaching post in Scotland, I think there is a preference for people with experience of the Scottish system as there are substantial differences.

    You mention being a science teacher, do you have a registered specialism? Schools might be uneasy about employing someone who doesn't have registration to teach either Biology, Chemistry or Physics. You might also find it easier if you're registered in more than one, as it allows schools to be more confident in keeping you busy even if numbers vary from year to year.
  3. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

  4. Lakes1975

    Lakes1975 New commenter

    Scotland is pretty much a closed shop for those of us coming from elsewhere in the UK and I've never really quite figured out why. Part of me wonders if LAs/schools don't want people who have experienced different systems from upsetting what seems to be a complacent educational policy community in Scotland. Whilst the system here has many strengths, I'm continuously horrified at some of the things that go on. There's no meaningful evaluation for impact and not nearly enough focus on academic outcomes, especially in deprived areas.

    I did it but am still, permanently, on a subject specialist local authority supply list. That's fine as I knew what I was getting in to, but it's frustrating not to have progressed. I also know of many others from England who were looking to relocate to Scotland (D&G, Borders) in what they thought were shortage subjects (mostly maths teachers) and they eventually gave up. If you've had some of your education in Scotland that may help. It's such a missed opportunity for Scottish education. Teachers terms and conditions are so much better here and the system would seriously benefit from different perspectives.
  5. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    Your experience of transferring from teaching in England to teaching in Scotland is very different to mine, Lakes1975. What the local authority is like to teach in and how difficult it is to get a job probably depends on which one you choose. I have no desire to go back to teaching in England.
  6. mousey1394

    mousey1394 New commenter

    You always come across as quite judgemental and bitter in your posts, Lakes. Maybe that’s coming across when you’re going for jobs.

    Let me assure you that there are a number of ‘Scottish’ teachers who find themselves in the same position as you. It’s not necessarily because you’re from elsewhere.
  7. Lakes1975

    Lakes1975 New commenter

    Our employment terms and conditions are much better. There's more money available. Like you I wouldn't;t go back. But the reality is that it's a very tough system for many of us to break into. Baffling.
  8. catriona_astex

    catriona_astex New commenter


    Unless you have completed your NQT year in England don't bother applying for Scotland. You'll be registered as a "flexible route probationer" and are not allowed to apply for permanent positions until you get full registration. Flexible route probationers are at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to jobs, anyone who completed a PGDE at a Scottish university is guaranteed a probationer job for a year (so less fixed term contracts available for flexible route). You will likely be stuck with supply jobs a day here and a day here making it almost impossible to get to the 270 days the GTCS require for full registration via the flexible route.
  9. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    That's not necessarily the case. I've had colleagues who've been hired on temporary contracts allowing them to complete their probation when posts have been advertised as permanent. Yes, it will be harder because most other candidates you're up against for permanent posts will have completed their probations, but if you know your stuff you can still be successful. There's also maternity leave posts, a couple of those would be enough to clear the 270 days
  10. catriona_astex

    catriona_astex New commenter

    "I've had colleagues who've been hired on temporary contracts allowing them to complete their probation when posts have been advertised as permanent."
    Thanks, that is useful to know as I have been told otherwise.

    If you want to complete the NQT/probation in a year, 270 days will take you over into the 2nd and possibly into a 3rd year, depending on what fixed term/supply work you can secure. I would recommend completing the NQT year in England, as there you will have an NQT protected timetable as well as support. As a flexible route probationer in Scotland you are NOT guaranteed a protected timetable like TIS probationers and the support in some schools is non existent.

    Moray House Institute of Education published research on the experiences of flexible route probationers. They found that their experiences showed that in order to complete their probation they developed strategies to cope as a supply teacher, rather than focusing on developing their teaching eg delivering lessons that minimised challenge for both the teacher and students. (Draper et al 1997) http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/00001210.htm
    Another study conducted by GTC Scotland (Matheson 2009), found that mentors of flexible route probationers were not always aware of what their role was and had little or no training to support the probationer. http://www.gtcs.org.uk/web/FILES/Fo...exible-route-to-full-registration1751_313.pdf
    In 2016 the Scottish Government published a paper "Evaluation of the Impact of the Implementation of Teaching Scotland's Future" https://www.gov.scot/publications/e...ementation-teaching-scotlands-future/pages/7/ One of the recommendations was increased support for those on the flexible probationer route.

    Not much has changed for some flexible route probationers.

    Go down the flexible route if you feel you do not need guaranteed support, a protected timetable and have no fixed timescale in completing your probationer year, you may get lucky and it may work out, otherwise complete your NQT in England. I am sure there are many flexible route probationers who have had very positive experiences of the system, however, bear in mind that this is not the case for every flexible route probationer.
  11. Lakes1975

    Lakes1975 New commenter

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