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Does such an opportunity exist? Beginning to doubt it!

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by swindonboy, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Having read so many threads on this forum I'm going to try a change of tact. Can anyone answer a question that many people probably consider sometimes; if I wanted to do a stint abroad, would I be able to find a post out there that would enable me to take my non-teaching spouse and 2 children (currently 4 and 7). Oh, and with a salary that would enable us all to live comfortably rather than lavishly. I'm beginning to think that only single teachers/married teaching couples without children are wanted out there. Can anyone prove me wrong?
     
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Occasional commenter

    hi swindonboy,
    I used to live in Chippenham.

    It is definitely possible for a family to find a job with only one teaching parent. However, it seems to be getting more rare.
    The school I have just left has replaced all leaving teachers with young, single teachers. Teachers with families only have one free school place and fees are horrendous. Medical insurance is being shaved down and housing allowance is not adequate to find even a modest family home.
    Wherever you get a job you need to look very, very carefully at the deal on offer. By the time you pay school fees, top up medical insurance and top up housing allowance you might find its financially unaffordable. Most schools are a business after all.

    Or you may find a good school which values its staff as its most valuable asset and gives them reasonable accommodation and medical insurance and salary.

    I am moving to Qatar where I will be living in a company compound which actively seeks families. Money and conditions are great.

    Decide first where you want to go then look at the deals on offer.
     

  3. SCE do but those jobs are few and far between :(
     
  4. lovely.lady

    lovely.lady Occasional commenter

    Swindonboy,

    Nord Anglia (THe British International School) in Shanghai, Beijing, Abu Dhabi plus various cities in Europe offer good salaries plus 2 free child places. I have a non teaching spouse plus children. They are a good company to work for despite what is said. I'm transferring to a new school with them this year. Also they do take on married teachers with 1 teaching person plus kids!!
     
  5. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Hi Swindonboy,
    I have a non-working spouse, two children and I get more or less everything you have mentioned. The jobs are out there, but as people have said, they are difficult to get. Essentially you will need solid qualifications behind you, in depth knowledge of the whatever syllabus the school is teaching ( most likely IB or A Level ), a fair amount of international experience ( most top end schools will not take a gamble on a relative newcomer - others may disagree, but this has been my experience ) and lots and lots of enthusiasm.
    Give it a shot. You never know what the school wants and they may be willing to take a gamble on you. Besides you may be a lot more attractive to schools than you think.
    Good luck, and just ask for help if you need it.
     
  6. Some of the better schools in Cairo offer family contracts but as has been said they are getting more and more of a rarity.I would say go for the post and school you fancy and see what happens. You never know until you give it a try. International schools can sometimes be flexible with regard to contracts if you have what they need.
     
  7. I'm sorry but I'm at a British School in Shanghai and we even lose teachers mid-contract due to not being suitable for families. Housing and health insurance are real issues. Shanghai is definitely a place for young single people though.
     
  8. BTW be very careful about positive comments from Nord Anglia. Upper management actively talk to heavies to remove negative posts and actively place positive posts!
     
  9. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Such posts are out there. Keep looking.
    The worst they can say is no.
     
  10. Mathmatty

    Mathmatty New commenter

    With a wife and daughter (aged 2), I am in a similar position to swindonboy.
    Even though to date I have applied for about 15 positions (Maths is v. popular) I have not even heard a thank you for applying let alone anything positive.
    I wish I could say anything is different....
    Still it's only January.... Registered with a few agencies and looking at TES in anticipation...
    Keep positive.....(as will I)
     
  11. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    The harse reality is that as a standard scale teacher, in a market full of good teachers eager to go overseas, there are fewer and fewer schools who will finance your family. It's a huge extra burden for a school to take on, and when there's plenty of other single teachers waiting in the wings, you shouldn't expect favours.
    Upper management positions are different, any school not willing to pay for a family for upper management aren't worth considering.
    Schools will take you on if you pay for flights and other things yourself, it then comes down to if they're offering enough basic salary to cover those expenses.
     
  12. It is possible, I've just done it. My wife and two very young children will be heading out to a 'top tier' school in Asia come August (and I had interviews with others). I researched the school website (and many others) reading their recruitment pages, you can usually tell from the language they use and the package they offer how much they value getting the best staff. Also look for a phrase such as 'we always seek to employ the very best teachers for our school' meaning if you can prove you are worth it they are likely to take you. As for any job, proving you are worth it is the trick. I have leadership responsibilities in the uk and took a professional portfolio proving the impact I had had on the school. That seemed to help quite a lot. During interview, when the discussion turned to competition for jobs and I mentioned about my family in tow, they jumped down my throat in their eagerness to point out that it made no difference to them whatsoever. Competition is fierce though, one school had just 4 jobs going and I think I missed out because they found teaching couples. But it is possible.
     
  13. doha

    doha New commenter

    I'm currently employed in a nice british school in the middle east, i'm a wife sponsoring my whole family, my 2 kids get free education and my whole family gets free medical insurance! My accommodation is great and the salary is one of the best! So yes, it is out there. My school is keen on recruiting families and it helps when retaining staff...
     
  14. Nezelette

    Nezelette New commenter

    Exactly my situation too.
    And that happened to me to. The employer even said he had a preference for teachers who had families.

    So there! Don't let yourself get depressed by people who say it isn't possible.
    It's a combination of factors. If you have two kids AND a non-teaching partner AND no IB experience AND you are an NQT AND you've never lived abroad AND not-so-good references, then it becomes impossible.
     
  15. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    The short answer is it depends. The long answer is it depends. In other words, yes.
     
  16. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    I'm not convinced by the argument that a family brings more stability.
    From the point of view of a school, kids and a non-working spouse bring extra costs and additional hassles and risks related to being overseas and away from family and a familar lifetsyle. I would see no reason to go down that route unless that was exactly the person I wanted to run my school, and I had trouble finding an alternative.
    It's just common sense.
     
  17. I am at a school which has fabulous contractual benefits for families. It regularly hires families where one member is not working and I have to say they recruit very highly qualified staff. I am looking to relocate to Europe and want to bring my family with me- I am really disheartened to hear that schools might like my CV yet not consider me because I wouldnot be coming alone. Surely families create stability for a school? I suspect that the emphasis on packages is less in Europe than in Asia? I mean do European schools offer flights home (to the UK)? It's hardly the same deal breaker as it is when you are applying for jobs in Thailand or Qatar, is it? School places though... That is an important consideration. Any answers to these Qs with reference to Europe?
     
  18. miketribe

    miketribe Occasional commenter

    I do know that there are schools here in Europe which avoid hiring teachers with families if they can. It is partly due to the extra cost in terms of flights -- most schools pay for these only at the beginning & end of contract -- settlin-in allowances (meagre) and free places. A bigger consideration is sometimes that salary levels here are considerably lower and some schools have found that teachers with non-working spouses and dependents struggle to live comfortably on what they're paid. This can have an unsettling effect which bosses prefer to avoid...
     
  19. Ah, ****. Well that is really unfortunate. Not having applied for jobs as a parent before I had never considered that it could affect an application, especially as my current school seems so in favour of recruiting families.I suppose I have to apply and see what happens. Very disheartening. I don't suppose it's possible to tell me of any such schools you know of so that I can be aware? The whole reason we want to move to Europe is because I'm having a family and want to be closer to my parents... Not stuck in Asia, pleasant though it is.
     
  20. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    There are many schools in Europe that are happy to take on families but the issue is that Europe, as a whole, does not go down the whole Asia/ Middle East employment package route.
    You are no more likely to get flights in and out, housing, education etc. etc. for your children in a school in Europe than you are in a school in the UK. A European school does not need to attract European trained staff because they are all around.
    However, there are schools that do offer all of these perks, but they also extract their metaphorical pound of flesh for them. If you want free housing it will most likely be found in a boarding school. If you want free education for your children, it will most likely be taxed as a benefit. Flights to the school may exist as part of a relocation package ( which is quite common amongst many schools ) but I doubt that you would get flights out.
    So, if you are wanting these things in Europe then start looking at those schools which are a little out of the way and would thus need to offer something extra to entice good staff. If you are confident that you are a very strong candidate then apply to any schools that you like and see what you can negotiate at the interview.
    The case has always been that if a school really wants you, then they will negotiate.
     

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