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ISR reviews

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by cbahia1, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. cbahia1

    cbahia1 New commenter

    I am very much interested in teaching internationally - particularly In Asia within the next couple of years. However, most jobs I see advertised on TES have highly negative reviews on ISR. I have yet to find a school with mostly positive reviews. Even those schools who have a good name for themselves In the UK seem to have bad reviews for their international sister schools. Does anybody know more about whether these reviews are an accurate representation of schools... There are so many schools out there and it’s hard to know whether a particular school is the right one for you when all you have to go by is their own school website and some things that you might find out online etc.
  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Read and take note of what is written in the ISR. The ISR also has an open forum to ask unrestricted questions.

    Use other social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn to find extra information.
    towncryer and (deleted member) like this.
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Do your homework. Yes, the school's own website and the ISR are good places to start, but there is a wealth of information available, if you look for it. One or two misguided people even send one of those TES Conversations to a smelly old hippopotamus.
    towncryer and (deleted member) like this.
  4. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Take ISR with a very large pinch of salt. Its great for a laugh, but read between the lines of the bitter, or sacked employees that are just having a moan or out and out lying.

    Join Search Associates or Schrole if you want access to the better schools and jobs in Asia. Remember that there are a lot of other curriculums than just "British", particularly in Asia.
    1 person likes this.
  5. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    It's certainly worth joining Search Associates. They'll asign you a personal advisor and help you navigate your way through the jobs market.
    They have a jobs fair in London next week, it's a great way to get onto the scene, meet other international educators, and pitch for jobs.

    As february31st advises triangulate your research. I try to interpret what you read on ISR, not everything has to be a deal breaker, but do look out for the red flags and multiple posters reporting the same issues. Schools in Asia opperate very differently to those in the state sector.
    1 person likes this.
  6. englishdragon

    englishdragon Occasional commenter

    It is certainly possible @dumbbells66 that bitter, or sacked employees try and exact revenge on a school by writing an unpleasant ISR report, however, a great many reports are written by very solid teachers who have been tricked by schools (and EVEN the hallowed and wonderful SEARCH Associates) into joining organizations run by opportunist businesspeople that are rotten at the core.

    These solid teachers are not seeking revenge, but instead, are trying to preclude others from suffering the same fate. It speaks volumes when 50-100% of staff break 2-year contracts to leave by the end of the first year. Or when people are forced into running at midnight, to disappear a week or a month after arrival.

    Unfortunately, there is no good schools guide in the international schools market (especially China). No set of voluntary standards, and industry cross-inspection, that schools submit themselves to regarding staff and HR practice.
  7. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    While i understand there are some genuine reviews, from what i read the most are moaning. If i had listened to any of the reviews of the schools, and the people i have worked with and for then i would never moved anywhere...... like i said, a large pinch of salt is required.
  8. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    I've recently attended a job fair.

    What stuck me was, on the whole, how happy international educators are. Meetings are more relaxed, jovial almost. School leaders don't seem so stressed, miserable and oppressed, as I have encountered in the UK.
    englishdragon likes this.
  9. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    I have to agreee 100% on this. It's useful but you need to filter the reviews. I had a great time in a school. Had I read the ISR review I would never have made the move. But, look for the red flags.
    englishdragon likes this.
  10. colacao17

    colacao17 Occasional commenter

    Likewise, if anyone ever listened to any of your views on Spain, noone would have ever moved there.

    Most of us have learned to take you with a large pinch of salt as well
    Alice K, Teachallover and dumbbells66 like this.
  11. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    I just wish i had listened to others about Spain, i would have avoided all that horendous hardship and pain, like so many others that have tried surviving Spain
  12. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    Another all-about Spain post. I got out of Spain because financially I realized I saved nothing. That doesn’t mean I regret my 7 years living there with the lifestyle: culture/language/food/friends/ weather/ proximity to UK and so on... yes I had a horrendous school but also a great school. Back to the OP; posts I’ve seen about my previous schools are on the whole balanced. You have to use common sense with ISR. For me, it is a life changing decision choosing where to apply for jobs and I will research by no means any review (happy to pay $30 a year). It doesn’t mean I wholly rely on that as my research method. Also, do take into account that schools change and ISR reviews can become outdated.
    englishdragon and alex_teccy like this.
  13. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I challenge anyone with a subscription to the ISR to read the reviews of new Bilingual schools in China, including the rent-a-name schools.

    If you can not see the serious issues within the Bilingual education establishments in China then I wonder how you manage to cross the road safely.

    The ISR gives you a good idea of the question you need to ask at interview, how long to get my work visa, standard of accommodation, health care, staff turnover, do I need an exit visa, will you keep my passport, does the school honor contracts and will I get my gratuity at the end of my contract.
  14. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    englishdragon likes this.
  15. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    I never get the quote/reply thing right (see above comment)
  16. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    And sometimes ISR is just a load of hooey. Read past TES threads for more opinions.
    Happy people don't write reviews or answer surveys.
  17. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    I don't agree. Some schools are very bad...we know they are. Some people just want to tell others what is going on and I don't blame them.
    Teachallover likes this.
  18. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    I also disagree. I read good reviews and that’s because they are the good schools.
    towncryer likes this.
  19. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    Don't know what kind of difference it makes - if any - but you don't need to be a member of ISR to write a review so any review could essentially be written by anyone where in the know or not, good or bad.
  20. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    You have to remember that people tend to complain loudly but make no noise if they are happy. As a result, ISR can seem to be overly negative - you're more likely to be motivated to pay their fee if you want to gripe than praise. It also doesn't distinguish between sections of the school - a rubbish middle school doesn't necessarily mean a rubbish high school. It is a useful tool, but has, I think, some serious limitations which is fine as long as you bear these in mind.

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