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Long term lockdown - what impact on recruitment and moving on?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by rideemcowboy, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. rideemcowboy

    rideemcowboy Occasional commenter

    Is it possible that international lockdowns will still be in place in August?
    If so, what would that look like?
    Departing teachers cannot leave for their new schools. Incoming teachers cannot arrive.
    Will schools reemploy those who were leaving? Will schools honour contracts for those teachers due to arrive and also pay salary, even though they may be helping out in their old school? Could this result in teachers being paid by two schools?
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Quite possible.

    Would a school pay a teacher who wasn't there? Rather unlikely. They would probably just cancel the contract and recruit locally for a term or so.

    I think a more interesting question is will there still be as many schools around after this crisis ends. There are probably many schools out there who are going to experience serious financial problems, with furloughed parents and school numbers up in the air for next year.

    Who knows what may happen in September.
    nemo., towncryer and TheoGriff like this.
  3. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    It's not only possible, it's definite in some countries. Remember, there will not just be one wave of the virus. Some countries will lift lockdowns in may and then reinstate them on August as deaths start rising again
    nemo. and towncryer like this.
  4. greenn111

    greenn111 New commenter

    Chirpy and positive as always, how about the fact that enrollment numbers in the good well established schools are actually increasing as parents look for more established options?

    Can you please let me know the list of countries that have definitely said they will not be opening their borders on issuing work permits in August as you stated. So we have schools with increasing student numbers, assurances on work permits and yourself acting as a messenger of doom spreading your joyful uninformed advice across this forum.
    kstainsb and bensball like this.
  5. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Its impossible to see the future at the moment and there is no end in sight.

    If you think you have secured a new job in a new country, I would definitely have a contingency plan well in place before the end of May.

    The flood gates on foreign travel and employment in China will not open any time soon.
    nemo. likes this.
  6. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    International borders will remain closed until a vaccine is available.

    I am afraid that contracts mean nothing right now. This affects me too.

    I too reckon that there will be fewer international schools. The newer schools, especially the ones in China which have been set up by hard nosed business men will close. No return on that investment for the foreseeable. Some cities with large transitory business communities will not see the families return and the demand for school places will dwindle. School closures are inevitable.
    nemo. and T0nyGT like this.
  7. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Why would countries have free internal movement and open borders in the middle of a pandemic? We are at the absolute beginning and only 4 months away from August. The UK officials are estimating at least another 6 months of limitations and that's in a country that's further along its journey than others.

    There is not a single indication that things will be back to normal by August
    Kulmatie34 and nemo. like this.
  8. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    There will be a new normal.

    Online teaching will be the norm until a vaccine is available. Exam boards will have to cope with that.

    A year where every border is closed, flights severely restricted will affect every aspect of our international lives. The death tolls in USA , India and Africa will be horrific. It will set the tone for a new way of introverted, protectionist thinking until a vaccine is available. Countries like Hungary and Poland will set a xenophobic example for the rest of the world.
    Kulmatie34 likes this.
  9. normannobody2018

    normannobody2018 New commenter

    There will be international schools after the crisis ends. The good survive, the weak close.
    Pleased to say, despite closure, monthly fees for my school looking pretty good this week.
    All classes now running online.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2020
  10. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    I do have to disagree. immunity certificates will come along well before a vaccine. remember there is a huge amount of under-reporting of low or mild cases, and many people will be immune. yes, there will be restrictions in place. if you are elderly or have a chronic condition then you arent going anywhere soon. Austria is already looking into opening-up with some restrictions in place after easter. it won't be long before other countries follow....big business will be pushing for this.

    with regards to Africa, I hear something the other day (don't ask me whereas I can't remember) that it won't have such an impact on the continent. People just don't get that old in Africa and the mobility between communities outside of the large cities is very limited.

    this will have an impact on the low-level for-profit schools, especially in the large cities where there is plenty of choice of schools. the top tier and non-profit schools (yes feb31st, there are plenty of them) won't be affected. if your school is non-profit then it doesn't have to worry about having millions of dollars taken out of its budget by its owners.

    thankfully I work in a non-profit school that is the only option in our city.

    good luck everyone, the world is NOT going to end anytime soon.
  11. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    This is possible but it's also possible that there will be no such thing, as humans immune systems have produced anti-bodies, that fought off similar viruses (that originated in animals) in the past, that didn't lead to immunity. It's not that simple.

    To answer the OP, yeah I think some teachers who are moving on will end up actually staying where they are, even some that have been "moved along". Nobody will be paid twice though, and many international teachers will work on reduced benefits packages. However, a handful of elite schools that have been steadily "eroding" their packages will bring them back up to 20th Century levels as everywhere will now be considered a hardship posting.

    Either that or we will have all forgotten about it in a couple of weeks, Boris will be the great survivor, Liverpool will win the league and we will be hooting and hollering about the "fear-mongers" who thought it was the end of the, lol, world.
  12. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Yes, some schools will go to the wall. These will be the ones which aren't properly capitalised (like any other business) and where they have been built as cash cows for their owners. However, other, more established schools will survive for a number of reasons - for example, there is a traditional rush out of China at around Y9 and Y12 to US schools which I don't see happening this year, and as schools close these kids still need to be educated somewhere. What might happen, and is, would be a freezing in fees for next year, and that would potentially impact on a school's ability to recruit / retain financially.

    I suspect we'll see the full impact on this in next year's recruiting round, rather than cancellations this year - teachers leaving next year simply won't be replaced. Those of us on longer contracts might find that we're a bit more secure than others (Feb31 I know won't agree).
  13. normannobody2018

    normannobody2018 New commenter

    Most of my parents have been supportive. I did have an interesting email from one parent, however, thinking we should stop charging fees for the remainder of the year.
    As a school running without a profit, though not officially a non-profit school, I'm not sure where that parent thinks we'll get the money to pay staff to teach online if we stop collecting fees.

    There will be schools with a large number of parents like this, rather than just one in our case. Those schools will suffer. They will close if this carries on.

    Those suggesting the established school will be OK are kidding themselves. They are more exposed as their salaries are far higher, normally, and they may struggle from a sudden drop in student numbers.
  14. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Unfortunately no ones contract is safe under these conditions. Most countries have a law that allows "force of nature ", or "unforeseen circumstances " to be used to break contracts.

    Under Chinese labour law a school as an employer can make large numbers of employees redundant if the company is going bankrupt.
  15. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    The established schools should have enough reserves to cover expenditure for a period of 3 - 6 months. If needs be, then funds that are reserved for capital expenditure can be accessed to continue the viability of the enterprise.

    Some schools will, inevitably close. One feels for the students, employees and owners, all of whom have been caught up in a vortex of worst case scenarios.
  16. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    I tend to agree with amysdad that the impact on recruitment will be felt next year. I do note that schools are still placing adverts on the TES for September (including some very good schools) which surprises me even though I'm not quite the naysayer as some are on this forum. Obviously, nothing is guaranteed (if I had a Euro for every time the word unprecedented pops up!) but, as usual with these forums, sweeping generalisations are being made globally. Although there is some justification in comparing a new for-profit school in Hangzhou to a non-profit, sixty year old European school in Luxembourg; there are many more differences than there are similarities. I wanted to re-post a message I added to a very similar thread - in the overseas forum - because it responds to the issues raised here.

    Whilst I recognise that just because a school is well-established does not automatically confer protection, I was trying to provide some general criteria that might be of help to posters worried about their next moves. Another teacher-friend of mine, who also works in Europe, has had several unprompted emails from her new school reassuring her that they have extensive resources and a contingency plan/fund for such eventualities. Her biggest concern is actually being able to physically move; but talk seems to be (as other posters have noted) moving towards mass-testing and a phased (staggered) return to free movement by June/July in many European countries.

    Interestingly, Sweden hasn't locked down at all: but they have an incredible health and social welfare system so have more means than most countries. The lockdown is purely because national health systems don't have the capability to deal with simultaneous infection on a huge scale. The idea is that the virus will also be 'staggered' or phased - the virus isn't going away (and nobody thinks that it will), but social isolation's purpose is to stop a huge bottleneck on health resources.

    My other post:

    "I was talking to a friend about this the other day. I have only worked abroad in well-established European schools (western European for those who like to make the distinction). In general, they have been around for some time (often half a century), have acquired impressive resources and reserves, and their intake is from a settled, reasonably steady local intake (comprised of locals and expats). For example, my friend who teaches at one of the best schools in Munich (or the best, depending on your viewpoint) was explaining that the families of the students haven't gone anywhere because Munich is their home. Most of the families are 'well off' to the point where they have steady incomes (and still do at the moment), and they are fully expecting for their kids to go back to the school as soon as they're allowed to do so. Something that helps here is that many European countries have good (strict?) labour laws which prevent some of the sharper practices of dodgy outfits in other parts of the world. For example, the Lycee in France which have international components hire international staff under local terms - gold plated civil servant contracts. A moan of many a HT in these places is that they can never fire the deadwood! Such protection in law is not always guaranteed though, I hasten to add! (I'm being extremely general here). Of course there can be some very dodgy schools in Europe such as the Patron Saint ones in the Teutonic Heartland: but they tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

    I use the analogy of the UK housing market. Just before the 2008 crash, lots of people took chances on 'up and coming' areas in cities. Many of these areas didn't gentrify so many homebuyers went into negative equity. However, in areas that were either steady or well-established, there was a slight dip or plateau in prices and lethargy in the market overall which, now in hindsight, was easily weathered. I see some of these very 'new' international schools as 'up and coming areas' in this analogy. They have taken a punt (so to speak) particularly in booming, competitive and highly fluid (volatile!) markets such as China: therefore they may be very uncertain bets in the current crisis. Without the established growth of several years or decades, or the steady, guaranteed intake from an equally well-established expat or local populace (with industries or economies that can also weather the current uncertainty), it would be harder to predict their ability to honour commitments or weather the storm."
    skitty123456 likes this.
  17. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    High Schools in Shanghai have just been informed to be ready to open from the 27th April. Lower schools to follow if all goes well.
  18. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    This doesn't make sense- old is relative. If citizens of some African countries die younger it is likely to be that they are infirm in some way (something must lead to earlier death). So the 'elderly' there are just as likely to be significantly impacted by infection- as are all the other people in marginal health. Western mortality rates are high despite the highly technical medical interventions available. It would be more likely that developing nations will be very vulnerable to the pandemic.
  19. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    This isn't true for all countries. Smaller countries with easily manageable borders who acted fast (New Zealand for example) are looking to wipe out the virus and then keep their borders with 14 day forced quarantine upon entry (not at home, at designated facilities.

    There are a handful of countries who will probably wipe out the virus soon while others like the UK will be looking at herd immunity.

    If I could be anywhere in the world right now it would be NZ, although my country only had 2 deaths and 50 new cases yesterday and has had the virus for 2 months
    Kulmatie34 likes this.
  20. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    I was being general as I stated in my original post. There are as many different responses to the virus as there are countries: just as there are as many different types of lockdowns and their severity. Each country deals with it in the way their resources and populations allow - hence stricter lockdowns where health systems cannot cope with mass, simultaneous infections.

    I was trying to provide some balance on this thread which was tending towards all doom and gloom. NZ provides a happy example. I used to work in Auckland (when SARs struck) and they are in a good position to control the virus: they aren't an international hub; they have excellent existing border controls for biohazards to protect their ecosystem; have a relatively small, well-resourced and educated population distributed over a large land mass; and have rich farmland/crops/food sources. Denmark, Austria and the Czech Republic are all beginning to lift their lockdowns ... very cautiously; France has now officially declared a recession. Swings and roundabouts, clearly: but countries are beginning to look to the future.

    The world will continue to spin and children will still need to be educated (alongside the childcare that schools also provide - as the recent home learning has demonstrated in spades).

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