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Please help - query about many jobs advertised today by a school in China

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by ruthwill500, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. ruthwill500

    ruthwill500 New commenter

    Hello,
    My husband and I noticed today that a school about 100km east from Beijing has advertised many positions today. Classroom teachers for Year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and speciality teachers in art, science and music, as well as ESL.
    The school claims to be very successful and growing quickly under the leadership of an English private school south of London in association with a Chinese kindergarten company.
    But, something seems very odd. The school is only one year old, so why do they need so many teachers. What happened to the founding faculty.
    This exciting position sounds a little bit too good to be true.
    Can anyone help with more information? There are so many shocking stories coming out of China, and this is our first foray into the East. We do not want to become another casualty.
    Thanks
    Ruth
     
    rideemcowboy likes this.
  2. makhnovite

    makhnovite Occasional commenter

    If it is a new school it will depend on how they are planning to grow. Some schools start with kindergarten, and grow from there. First into infants and then primary. They may stay at that point for a while, testing the market, they may then appoint a new Head of School to take then to the next stage into secondary. Stay at KS3 for a year or two and so on......

    I have to say this model is not too common in China as the compamies behnd the franchises need/want to start recouping some of their start up costs fairly quickly and the only way to do that is to get students in who pay!!! This can lead to the sort of situation that you seem to be describing, and it will affect the intake of students in terms of quantity and quality!

    It's hard to be certain without more information. It could be a great opportunity to help set up a new school and put things in place for those who come after you or it could be a disaster of bad planning, short termism and the race to the bottom. It could also be any combination of all these things. The only thing you can do is do as much reasearch as possible and talk to people who are involved.
     
    rideemcowboy likes this.
  3. englishdragon

    englishdragon Occasional commenter

    RuthWill, I applaud you for being cautious. I have been in China many years, and in a simplistic way, there are responsible schools focused on education and other institutions that do not look or behave like any school you would experience in the UK.
    Please be very, very cautious. The school that posted these advertisements opened last year in the fourth largest city in China where I have been working for more than a decade in a well established school. The expat community is very small and tightly networked. We have shared the disappointment and trauma of the founding leadership team and teachers in that school. It is a terrible situation. Like so many other for profit 'schools' in China, the Chinese owners are not educators, and their management style is incompatible with the needs of a Western school.
    The founding principal left after four months and the deputy principal was moved out of town and left before Christmas. They were both Aussies, so probably Aussies should not even bother applying.
    We have now heard that all of the foreign teachers are breaking contract and not returning for a second year. They are a great group of responsible, hardworking, dedicated and talented professionals, but that school has broken their spirits, and my understanding is they will all leave China as soon as they can. I have been in international schools for many years, and this is the first time I have seen all the foreign staff leave so quickly.
    I wish we had some open positions in my school, but our turn over rate is very low because this is a nice place to live.
    RuthWill, my best advice about China, do your homework. Do your homework. International Schools Review is a great resource for the unvarnished truth. If it sounds too good to be true, there is probably a problem.
     
  4. makhnovite

    makhnovite Occasional commenter

    PS: The franchise schools are usually - but far from always - better than most start ups as they have a reputation to uphold, but the rapid growth of these schools in China means that they can be just as much a mixed bag as the non-franchise schools.

    They are recruiting large numbers of teachers and managers for schools in second and third tier cities, then add all the problems that China has in terms of air pollution; where are all these people coming from and how good will the quality be????

    See the thread "No one wants to work in China"
     
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    On the whole I would agree with makhnovite.

    I used to be a great "China fan" and I was always telling everyone that they ought to come and teach in the Middle Kingdom. For the last few months, my wife has had a severe problem with an allergy (swellings on her head, sore throat and insomnia) and eventually a very good Chinese doctor told her that it was caused by the pollution in the air. The medication she has been given has helped to reduce the symptoms, but it has also had some side-effects.

    Now it is true that there is some pollution in the big cities in the UK and of course some of us are unaffected. However, it all came as a bit of a shock, especially when the doctor told us that pollution can build up in the body and the effects may not be immediately obvious.

    Shenzhen has the reputation for being one of the "greenest" and cleanest cities in China. All of my Chinese friends have said that the pollution levels in Shanghai and Beijing are much worse.
     
    rideemcowboy and ruthwill500 like this.
  6. englishdragon

    englishdragon Occasional commenter

    Please understand, I have been moved to write things on TES for the first time in my many years of international teaching, mostly in China. Only because I want to save as many innocent careers as possible, having seen the travesty of this new school unfold across town. I do not want to have to turn away any more traumatized souls when they come begging for work at my school.

    >>>>>>>makhnovite
    You make some good points. What is a franchise school? Those two are doing very well, on a simple foundation of genuinely implementing their UK-based education models, of basic respect for the Chinese Labor Law and of respect for the human rights of their employees. Disappointingly, that does not appear to the the case with the school in RuthWill500's enquiry. Instead, this school seems to be the misadventure of an English countryside prep school (about an hour south of London) that wanted all the prestige of playing like the big boys, managers that somehow thought Chinese money had no strings attached, and a project team/governance committee that appears to have leapfrogged the due diligence required to set things up the right way. They appear to have been truly conned by the Chinese kindergarten owners. All the foreign teachers, including the senior leadership team, have already left or decided to leave by the end of the first school year. At my school, we have also received several job applications from local Chinese teachers and admin staff who are seeking to escape the start-up trauma.

    >>>>>the hippo The winter has been remarkable in this coastal city. Almost no pollution at all compared to many of the previous winters here. One of the good points of central government is the ability to make rapid corrections, in this case, the elimination of coal as a fuel for heating and power generation. But, for those who are interested there are always downsides to anything - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...t-beijing-coal-cleanup-with-no-heating-at--6c

    >>>>>ruthwill500 As stated earlier, please do your homework. The school has listed so many open positions because all (YES, 100%) of the experienced and dedicated international teachers are fleeing for their lives. I would encourage you to think deeply before risking your own and that of your partner.
     
  7. ruthwill500

    ruthwill500 New commenter

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses. Your kindness is much appreciated. I will not give up on opportunities in China but I will certainly be doing my homework. I have joined International Teacher Review and have already found this to be exceptionally enlightening.
     
    rideemcowboy and englishdragon like this.
  8. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    Read the review just posted on ISR. Scathing.
     
  9. Fer888

    Fer888 Occasional commenter

    Just read the reviews too :eek::eek: Sounds like a nightmare. I live in Shanghai and yes the pollution can be high sometimes but then again on many days that I remember to look at it the pollution is between 30-50. I have to say it is not as bad as I was initially worried. I have been here nearly 3 years now but I know Hippo and his wife have been here longer. I would say though that air quality is a worldwide problem- one middle east school review was saying how bad the air quality was because of all the dust and big cities in general tend to have air quality problems (but not to the same extent as China)
     
  10. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    OK someone give me a hint! I'm dying to read the ISR reviews.
     
    abikuwait likes this.
  11. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

    Same! Hint on the school please!
     
  12. amysdad

    amysdad Occasional commenter

    Sounds horrendous, according to the ISR reviews. I'd steer well clear!
     
    tianjinjustice and englishdragon like this.
  13. englishdragon

    englishdragon Occasional commenter

    >>>>>>ejclibrarian, mermy

    All the information is in ruthwill500's initial post. I think you can figure it out fairly quickly. Just find those recent job listings on TES - ruthwill500 names the position titles - for a Chinese school about 100 km east of Beijing, associated with a UK private school in somewhere rhymes with bent an hour south of London. Put on the puzzle solvers hat and do some sleuthing. You can do it!!
     
  14. vickyrae1970

    vickyrae1970 New commenter

    It's pretty obvious if you go on ISR!
     
    englishdragon likes this.
  15. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I would give the school a miss.........
     
  16. ravenscroft2

    ravenscroft2 New commenter

     
  17. ravenscroft2

    ravenscroft2 New commenter

    With the huge demand for British education in China, new schools are being established constantly. You should be aware that many are business enterprises, owned and managed by Chinese entrepreneurs, seeking to make long term profits. As a 'foreign expert' you are a resource to achieve that business goal. You would have neither the employment legislation of the UK nor the support of professional associations should you take up a post in China, and your employment contract would be compiled in your employer's favour.
     
  18. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    Guess I'm not a very good detective. I've got no idea. Never mind.
     
  19. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    OK so not easily done on my mobile phone. PC is best for detective work clearly. I've never heard of that place in the UK so it wasn't immediately obvious.
     
  20. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    I take it it's the school which has 3 ISR postings in the last few days?
     
    tianjinjustice and englishdragon like this.

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