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Move From International to UK Independent

Discussion in 'Independent' started by StrangePanda, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    I'd be interested to hear about recent experiences of people who moved from the international teaching circuit to an independent school (back) in the UK. How have you found the transition? Did you feel like the school valued your international experience or did it seem like you had to work even harder to convince them that you were a good candidate for the post? How do you feel you are viewed by colleagues?

    Thank you for any responses!
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    My school have employed three staff in the last two years back from working internationally. School thinks they are the best thing since sliced bread. Two of them are excellent (both part of SLT) and use their knowledge and experience well. One is an arrogant nightmare who thinks they know so much more due to their international experience...needless to say, school are slowly coming round to the idea that international experience doesn't always mean excellent teacher.

    The international experience may enable you to get your foot in the door in many smaller independents, but It's you and your abilities which will ultimately decide how people view and value you.
    ViolaClef and drvs like this.
  3. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    Thank you for your reply. I was concerned that international experience would perhaps be regarded with scepticism and might actively count against an applicant (rather than being a selling point).
  4. Morena123

    Morena123 New commenter

    I think it depends on the school/recruiting staff. I'm abroad now but came from a big independent school in the UK. We had a number of teachers join us from abroad over the years and most did really well. We had a lot of overseas boarders so I guess it was a selling point that these staff would likely be used to working with students from different cultures and/or with EAL needs.

    The Head was very 'global' in his way of thinking and now runs a great school overseas himself. His replacement as Head came from overseas.

    However, there were a few staff who were a bit sniffy about teachers from international schools who assumed all sorts of things about them. I had one friend there who basically thought most international schools were nightmares with low standards and that people who move abroad to teach are invariably either rubbish teachers or running away from something. She must have thought I was mad when I left!

    Just go for it and don't make assumptions, you will find a fit at the right school. Some may not be used to Skype interviewing but if they want to make it work, they will.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  5. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Most independent school leaders value life experience and are interested in diversity. Don't overthink it.
    ViolaClef and sabrinakat like this.
  6. Panjang

    Panjang New commenter

    I moved back this September from a large international school in Singapore, to an independent school in the UK. SLT definitely value my experience and international perspective. I think some of the staff may be a bit skeptical, but hard to say. I try to keep quiet about my time overseas. I have found getting up to speed with the emphasis on league tables and exam results a bit tricky, but nothing I can't handle. I'm enjoying my new role, although not the drop in salary...

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