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PGCEi and working abroad in Asia

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by chrisjungmusic, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. chrisjungmusic

    chrisjungmusic New commenter

    Hey folks.
    young male music teacher here, currently about to begin my PGCEi programme thru Univ of Nottingham.
    Have a couple of years teaching music at international schools in S.Korea, but I need to move for personal reasons.

    Got a few questions for those experienced overseas teachers with knowledge in PGCEi...
    1. I'm American. Went to one of the best music schools in the States for my Bachelor of Music (not in Music Ed) but don't have my teaching credentials yet.
    Since, as far as I know, there are more british international schools than american schools in the world, Interestingly I want British teaching credential than the American one. I figured it'd be much more useful, and easier (shorter time spent in getting it as well) to get in comparison to American teaching license, IF presumably PGCEi qualification is good enough to get a job as a teacher in Asia.
    Is this a recipe for a disaster/failure?

    2. PGCEi obv doesn't give QTS (nor NQT I think). Will international schools in HK or Singapore (which I presume are notorious for being super competitive) be interested in hiring a teacher like myself? I wouldn't mind the age of students. I would welcome all Early Years, Primary and Secondary as long as my salary is okay enough for me to live off of.

    Moving sounds scary without high or legitimate teaching qualifications or years of experience, but personally I really feel the need to.
    If you can help me by responding to this... YAY!
    Thanks teachers! :)
  2. elkeisea

    elkeisea New commenter

    Hi, I finished the PGCEi through Sunderland uni here in HK last year and have recently started applying for jobs both here and overseas. I've been getting a good response from schools in MENA, Bangkok and Malaysia but no bites from schools in HK or Singapore (although I have been setting my sights quite high in terms of schools). You might find the IS market a bit tough until you have a few years post qualification experience, but you would probably get something in a lower level school in HK. If you dont mind teaching early years there are plenty of jobs about but salaries are not great. Sorry I don't really know much about demand for music teachers so can't really comment on that.

    It is worth noting that I heard of someone in HK who did the PGCE through Nottingham and failed to get registered teacher status here because of the lack of teaching practice element on that particular PGCEi course, and subsequently had to leave. You might want to check that out before coming to HK.
  3. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Some countries do not accept the iPGCE/PGCEi as a teaching qualification as it does not have the UK Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). I think HK and SG require QTS to issue you a work visa as a teacher but China does not for the moment and half the teaching jobs in the UK don't require QTS in Academies and Free Schools.

    I have a online Medical Degree from a prestigious university in Pakistan but no country will grant me a work visa as a doctor no matter how much experience I add to my CV. Looks like I wasted the $250 and 10 hours study to become a medical doctor and get my dream job in America with Dr Kildare!
  4. elkeisea

    elkeisea New commenter

    I can't comment about Singapore but can say that it is definitely possible to get a job in HK without QTS. The process is once you have your PGCEi you need to get it accredited by the EDB (Education Bureau) in Hong Kong and they then grant registered teacher status. The problem with the Nottingham student that I mentioned above was that the course didn't have a teaching practice element. I did the PGCEi through Sunderland uni and haven't heard of anyone from my course having problems getting registered teacher status, and I know of many people now working at international schools.

    Having been job hunting a few months, my experience is that some IS do want you to have QTS and/or experience teaching in the UK, but the PGCEi will still open a lot of doors. I've had several interviews and one job offer off the back of it. Good luck!
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    An important difference between "British" international schools and "American" international schools is that the latter usually pay rather better. The principals of "British" international schools usually prefer to recruit teacher who have experience of teaching the English National Curriculum. Having said that, I have taught in quite a few "British" schools that employed teachers who were Irish, American, Canadian, Kiwi, Australian, South African and Uncle Tom Cobbley and All.

    Yes, it is true that the PGCEi does not give QTS, but that is really only of interest if you are planning to teach in the UK. (Why would anyone in their right mind want o do that?) As for teaching in international schools just about anywhere else in the world, in my opinion things like relevant experience and good references are much more important. Of course international schools come in lots of different shapes and sizes, so there are no hard and fast rules here.
  6. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I always look at it this way, do I want my children taught by an unqualified teacher. If a teacher has been into the hell that is UK teacher training, completed their NQT in an inner-city comprehensive you can have some faith in their abilities. The same is true for other Anglo Saxon countries around the world for teacher training.

    There is one good reason for been a fully qualified teacher and that is insurance cover. After an unfortunate accident in a primary classroom that left one child with serious head injuries the large insurance company is refusing to pay out compensation as they point out there was no qualified teacher in charge of the activity. The insurance company pointed out that a qualified teacher would have the experience to avoid the incident occurring in the first place. The adult in charge of the class at the time can not leave the country till the 100000 uk pound medical bill is paid, as ICU cost 3000uk pounds/day!

    Not to mention child welfare, child health, child support, child safety and child development issues that still need to be addressed in international schools.

    I can also see the salary packages for qualified teachers been reduced as there is a flood of new teachers clutching their iPGCEs entering the job market. Why employ highly qualified western teachers from UK/Aus/NZ/Canada or Europe when you can hire anybody at half price!

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