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Does the UK not want OTT's

Discussion in 'Overseas trained teachers' started by africanrefugee2, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. Am I imagining it or are schools actively discouraging OTT’s. I am an OTT with over 25 years teaching experience in Zimbabwe and South Africa (both former colonies with British based education systems). I trained at a much respected Teachers Training College in Zimbabwe graduating with a Cert Ed in 1983. Now I accept that I do not have a degree and did a 3 year course, but my 25 years teaching experience is way more invaluable than a 4th year at university, besides the route to my Cert Ed was exactly the same as the British route to a Cert Ed at the time. I am British Born and have both the right of abode and the right to work in the UK.
    The thing is, I have applied for over 100 advertised vacancies in West Sussex and Hampshire without success. Admittedly when I started this process in September, my personal statement was brief, but after reading the TES columns and your advice on statements etc, mine is now comprehensive. I include 2 excellent written references from the last two schools I taught at, and these along with my personal statement, should have at least got me to an interview. I have been turned down by quite a few, not heard from a few more (which I believe shows unprofessionalism by the schools involved) and have seen a number of vacancies re-advertised. I assume the re-advertising of the position is due to the school having not received an application from a suitable candidate. I believe that without first interviewing me or seeing me teach, a school is unable to quantify my ability as a teacher, and therefore all I can assume is that my qualification is not recognised and no British school is willing to take on an OTT if they can help it. Without employment I am unable to do an OTTP and therefore unable to convert my qualification to one that is acceptable in the UK.
    I have been into some British schools as a Supply Teacher. From what I have seen the schools are well resourced but the students are, if anything, behind children of an equivalent age in South Africa. As my husband is South African and in the UK on a general visitor visa, I will be returning to South Africa in January next year as he will be unable to change his visa if I cannot find work to support us and thereby satisfy immigration.
    So am I imagining it or is the UK actually discouraging OTT’s.

     
  2. Am I imagining it or are schools actively discouraging OTT’s. I am an OTT with over 25 years teaching experience in Zimbabwe and South Africa (both former colonies with British based education systems). I trained at a much respected Teachers Training College in Zimbabwe graduating with a Cert Ed in 1983. Now I accept that I do not have a degree and did a 3 year course, but my 25 years teaching experience is way more invaluable than a 4th year at university, besides the route to my Cert Ed was exactly the same as the British route to a Cert Ed at the time. I am British Born and have both the right of abode and the right to work in the UK.
    The thing is, I have applied for over 100 advertised vacancies in West Sussex and Hampshire without success. Admittedly when I started this process in September, my personal statement was brief, but after reading the TES columns and your advice on statements etc, mine is now comprehensive. I include 2 excellent written references from the last two schools I taught at, and these along with my personal statement, should have at least got me to an interview. I have been turned down by quite a few, not heard from a few more (which I believe shows unprofessionalism by the schools involved) and have seen a number of vacancies re-advertised. I assume the re-advertising of the position is due to the school having not received an application from a suitable candidate. I believe that without first interviewing me or seeing me teach, a school is unable to quantify my ability as a teacher, and therefore all I can assume is that my qualification is not recognised and no British school is willing to take on an OTT if they can help it. Without employment I am unable to do an OTTP and therefore unable to convert my qualification to one that is acceptable in the UK.
    I have been into some British schools as a Supply Teacher. From what I have seen the schools are well resourced but the students are, if anything, behind children of an equivalent age in South Africa. As my husband is South African and in the UK on a general visitor visa, I will be returning to South Africa in January next year as he will be unable to change his visa if I cannot find work to support us and thereby satisfy immigration.
    So am I imagining it or is the UK actually discouraging OTT’s.

     
  3. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

    Whilst it is no more than human nature to react personally to these circumstances, I feel that the implication of active xenophobia is unwarranted. It is not an anti- Australian thing. Nor an anti-you thing. Times change. As do circumstances. Moving abroad is of itself precarious in a world of nation states. When you are moving abroad, you must surely factor such considerations into your decision making.
    This I would suggest is the core issue.

    This affects UK teachers just as it does foreigners. Indeed because there are so many more, some people might wish to argue that this affects UK teachers much more than it does foreigners, but you seem not to appreciate this.


    Quite by chance, I was speaking to someone this week who told me that cattle prices in Ireland are currently at 1967 levels. You are surely aware of the world wide recession.

    [Plus obviously, as you yourself stated and as I have agreed above, a pretence by the UK government, especially the English branch of it, that using <u>cheaper</u> unqualified staff is somehow driving up standards coupled with a pretence by the UK media and (unbelievably) by the parents that this is possible.]
    Is your assertion that there is an open door policy correct? I don&acute;t know. So obviously I am not saying that you are wrong. But I do wonder whether you are right?

    On reflection, my comments may well seem harsh. But nation states are a harsh reality. As you do appear to accept in your final paragraph.


     
  4. Like you, I am an "African Refugee", having left South Africa for The UK in 2002. You have not mentioned what your subject area is, or perhaps you are a Primary School teacher? Anyway, I feel that without QTS, you won't find it easy to be employed. I managed to gain QTS through the Independent School that employs me. Teaching Agencies, I'm told, are no loger allowed to send Non-QTS teachers to State Schools? It's a difficult one; how about sending your CV to several agencies and make an attempt to do supply teaching until a firm job offer comes up? All the best!!!
     
  5. No I don't believe it is xenophobia at all. I actually agree with
    countries training their own teachers rather than poaching teachers
    from other countries, particularly less developed/less wealthy
    countries. I was just stating a fact that there is now a surplus of
    teachers in the UK and that this has been a fairly recent change.
    I was replying to an OTT on the OTT forum, of course I wasn't going to address how these changes have affected UK teachers.
    Also I would like to say that although I am an OTT I am actually British and therefore am by no means anti-British. I just dislike a policy that applies arbitrary barriers to employment and refuses to judge and assess the capabilities of teachers on an individual basis.
    My personal experience is that although I have UK teaching experience I left the UK several years ago, at a time when OTTs only sought QTS for visa reasons. As I am British I never realised the value of going through the process and my school never even suggested it. I then left the UK for several years and returned to find that although I have extensive UK experience, I am unable to teach in state schools because of the ''4 year rule''. I find it difficult to understand how an inexperienced OTT teacher, fresh out of University, is able to teach in the UK with problems at all, while I am not.
    It is a fairly open door at present, as (4 year university trained) teachers are assessed and judged on an individual basis without arbitrary barriers preventing employment (as long as you can meet other visa requirements).

    I do feel that you were a bit harsh. I am offering advice to OTT on an OTT forum, giving my own opinions as an OTT. To answer the original question: No the UK does not want OTTs and I would discourage OTTs from coming here.
     
  6. I'm going to quote from the teaching overseas forum.
    "I'm in Australia, it's really hard to get into the system here. It's
    taken me 6 months to have all of my qualifications assessed and I'm
    still waiting for supply clearance.

    Basically, the state system
    is impossible, so private schools are the way to go, however, these are
    all church schools, so that is a consideration."
    Which comes from this thread
    https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/p/116661/3134813.aspx#3134813
    There are other simiar comments.

    I am not on a campaign here against OTT. I wish you luck. I am UK trained and have done most of my teaching overseas and have had to have my documents certified so many times.
    I have never on the teaching overseas forum seen the comment xxxxx does not want UK trained teachers but it seems a common comment here.
    I think every case is unique and should be assessed on it's own merits. Plenty of OTT do get jobs so maybe it is that some schools don't want OTT rather than the whole country.
     
  7. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

    Notwithstanding the tendentious name choice of 2 earlier posters, neither of whom from their conveniently appended photo looks anything like the small number of unfortunate and downtrodden African refugees whom I have come across in real life, this is not a discussion about the issues highlighted. It is a discussion about voluntary economic migration. Lower middle class wasp workers who choose to exercise their skills in foreign climes.
    Especially apparently from UK to Oz. And vice versa.
    Obviously you are free to address whatever isssues you see fit. Ditto not address others. As you see fit. But, I dispute the logic of you blithe affirmation "of course." I would suggest that the issue of how any measures being enforced in the UK affects UK teachers is a crucial part of the global picture within which the position of OTT can be analysed.

    To repeat my main point, teachers in the UK are under the cosh and hence OTT are too. Probably in spades. That is the nature of the beast vis a vis nation states in the real world.
    Where should I begin with the above. all the points which I have highlighted are problematic. To me at least.

    To begin with, what proportion of the English teacher workforce, crammed as it is to the guanwales with exceptions, special cases and friends of the headteacher, meet the apparently simple condition of "4 year university trained", even if you accept the weak meaning of 3 year degree plus 1 year PGCE. Less than 50 per cent, I suggest. Much less perhaps.

    [If you take the literal meaning, virtually nobody in English school education has a 4 year undergraduate degree. Scotland does honours degrees like that, but not England generally]
    So plenty would get a very dusty reply from Oz House it seems to me.

    But the central issue is the choice of the word "arbitrary", which for me initially counts as meaningless but strongly pejorative, in the context.

    All rules are arbitrary to those who don t like them, of course. 30mph as no better than 29mph or 31mph as a speed limit. It is arbitrary in that sense. But it is not arbitrary in the sense that the named figure is universally applied [in the most unlikely circumstance of a visit to the courts.]

    Which elements of the rules for OTT are in your opinion "arbitrary" in the true sense of applied diffeently to different people of similar standing?

    Now for me arbitrary is "judging on an individual basis" with implicitly no known criterion for the decision but plenty of scope for creative decision making. I have personally seen lots of that in English schools, but I always honestly thought that a place like Australia, which I have no direct personal knowledge of whatsoever, would have eschewed such practices.


     
  8. I am Australian trained teacher and I came to the UK in January last year. I thought I was being smart by securing a position before I came, which included a provision in the contract that the school had to get me assessed for QTS. It has been a year now and I am still fighting with my school to have this condition acted on. I work the same duties as every other teacher in the school and am given no assistance to get QTS from my school. If I knew what it would be like here I never would have come. I don't want Australia to become like the UK, I am proud that we don't treat UK trained teachers like the indentured servants they treat us when we come here. My advice to anyone thinking about coming to teach in the UK is- don't.
     
  9. HI suziejellybean...you still have time to get QTS so don't give up just yet!! You must get in contact with the TDA now before it is too late and find out which university offers the OTT. I wish I knew what I now know 2 years ago...good luck!!
     

  10. I have to agree with SuzieJB. DON'T waste your professionalism on the UK.
    They don't deserve us.
    They proabably have the worst education system in the world; even though they still behave as if it is now 1900 and everyone else is inferior.
    The QTC status, while enviable on paper, is just an admission that you have trained in an inferior system.
    The use of cover supervisors, HLTAs and such ilk is an admission of just how much trouble the "education system" in the UK is.
    There is the international system, with conditions that simply blow the UK out of the water.
    I did it for two years. While I hated every moment I was at the "school," I did use my time there to see a lot of Europe. I am glad I did that, but would I recommend anyone else do it? NO.
    Leave the poms to their abysmal fate. Their behaviour towards OTTs (along with many, many other factors) indicates that they may deserve it.
     
  11. You make a strong point Tangchao. However, I guess, HLTA's etc provide jobs.
     
  12. I would venture to say that they take jobs away from properly trained, registered professionals.
    Can you imagine something like cover supervisors or HLTAs being allowed to preside over a class ANYWHERE else in the Western world? There would be a revolt, the unions would destroy it; the papers would lambast it; parents would decry it.
    To me the Pommy "education authorities" are much like Comical Ali, Saddam Hussein's spokesman. He was the one saying that everything was fine and they had repelled the US forces from Baghdad even as the city's defences was on the verge of collapse.
    "Everything is fine in our schools, we don't even need the legions of foreign teachers that we previously employed anymore."
    They seem to be trying to cure themselves of an incredibly malignant cancer by picking at it and covering it with bandaids.
     
  13. hahaha...had a good laugh at your description for "education authorities". Bottom line though is &pound;&pound;&pound;&pound;&pound;&pound;!!!! ...cover supervisors/HLTA's are cheaper after all. And YES, I too am slowly losing respect for the British Education system but feel VERY SORRY for their teachers for what they have to put up with! Probably a blessing that I can't teach here after September 2010!! ;-)
     
  14. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    I have worked here for 10 years, and have found what you say about the state system to be so true. I was replaced in my MFL job by someone with O level French who had never taught it! However, I have spent my time in independents, where I have been treated as any other fully trained professional. Shortly going home with my Teacher's Pension- converted to $NZ, it's rather nice-so there are positives.
    BTW please don't sink to name-calling; my English husband hates the word "Pom", and regards it as insulting and rude.
     
  15. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    How sad that professionals are being devalued in such a way. To think that doctors and nurses with overseas qualifications ( probably some bogus at that!!) can walk into work without having to jump through hoops like teachers have to.
    Good luck on your return and I agree with you on the insulting term ' pom ': it really is foul!
     
  16. My advice to you would be that you should lose all respect for it now as that is the ultimate position you will take as it is the only logical conclusion any reasonable person could make.
    UK is a nice place to visit, but do you really want to live there? Have you considered the International system (IB)?
     
  17. Don't take my saying the word "Pom" the wrong way; that is just your nomenclature in the Southern Hemisphere. I call my Enlgish mates Poms straight to their faces, so it is not like I am hiding in cyberspace launching nationalist slurs.
    The big Enlgish expatriate forum in Australia is called PomsInOz.com. It is a term embraced by many people. I hope that it doesn't fall victim to the PC brigade as so much of our language already has (it seems rather Orwellian, "newspeak" so to say).
    When I was in England, I was officially known as an "unqualified teacher," it even denotes this on my reference!
    Should a British teacher go to Australia, s/he will be called a Pom, but certainly won't have his/her credentials nullified through such a demeaning term as I was referred to in the UK.
    Pommy teachers in Australia ultimately have a greater nomenclature than Australian teachers in England. On top of this, they receive the same pay, better conditions (by miles) and will be accepted into the teachers' unions.
     
  18. It may be argued that English teachers are better trained than Commonwealth teachers, Tangchao, and that is why we are seen as 'unqualified' teachers here?? That is the impression I have from a few other English professionals I have spoken to.
     
  19. How could that be argued? It is a four-year course in Australia to become a teacher. I myself took 5 1/2 years in uni to get there.
    English unis, like schools, have a great gulf between the best and the worst. In a country like Australia, this distance is far smaller.
    I have never felt my education or training to be inferior to an English counterpart.
     
  20. Oh how i wish I had not come back to the uk, left in my twenties, trained in australia, returned 4 months ago to help out aged family members....soooooo glad that I didnt resign (I have five years unpaid leave), but I did ship all my belongings here, it has taken a year to organise the move and I feel like crying every day! I feel like a piece of ****...not a teacher. If anyone thinks that the move to australia is tough....try moving to the UK. My husband is a radiographer and my daughter a speechie, both have found the beaurocracy here unbelievable. We are seriously thinking about buying a post office for the year or two we need to be here. My advice is to anyone thinking of coming here is....dont!
     

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