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Primary teaching in Australia/NZ?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by scubaholic, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I have been seriously thinking about emigrating to Oz or NZ for a while. I'd really appreciate your experiences and views.

    After some internet research, it seems that Oz isn't the place to go - primary education has been removed from the list of skilled occupations and primary teachers are ten a penny. Is this right?

    What about NZ?

    I am a deputy head in a primary school of 205 children. I have been teaching 10 years and have completed the NPQH (although I bet this isn't recognised in Oz or NZ). I am single and 31.

    Is there a call for primary teachers and leaders? Is it a case of the grass is greener, or is there somewhere else people would suggest?

    Thanks in advance for any advice
  2. Hi scubahoic,
    The thing to remember about Australia is that it is a HUGE place each state and in some cases districts would be a separate nation in Europe. The employment options in one area is completely different another area. If you only want to live on the coast and in the major coastal urban centres like 95% of the population you have no hope of finding work. If you are happy to work in the less populated areas your prospects will look up. Remember, like all countries Australia tries to ensure that local candiates receive the plum posts, it's the same reason as overseas trained teachers tend to end up in the rough schools in Brittian. Rural schools always find it difficult to find and keep staff, especially those in management. Many rural primary schools are very small (1-3 teacher schools). They have challenges but so do urban schools you just have to pick your preferred set of challeges. Speak to the education deparments (DET department of Education and Training) and Catholic Education Offices (CEO each diocee has one) in the major rural states, NSW, QLD, WA, SA and NT (not technically a state but they are in charge of their own education system. They will be better able to help you understand their staffing needs and whether they would be able to sponser you.
    I work in the ACT. In 2010, we had staffing issues. There weren't enough teachers in the system in many schools. Hence, my impression is that there is a need for teachers. I suspect you wouldn't have any difficulties getting relief work which would lead to premanent work. I realise this creates issues with visas etc. The ACT is great it's a small city with many of the cultural benefits of a larger city. It's 90mins drive to the snow fields or coast, three hours drive to Sydney.
    My big recommendation is look into the specifics. Look at particular locations think about indivual states and districts not the continent as a whole. If a school needs you, they (the PTB) well get the paperwork you need to work in that school.
    Good luck, it's worth a try.
  3. Thanks so much for this insight, Phie. I think I need to do a LOT more research! It is worth thinking about the more rural schools - these are the areas I have taught/am teaching in in the UK.
  4. Hi Scubaholic,
    Rural teaching is fantastic. I love it. Just be aware rural teaching in Australia is very different that in Britian. The isolation can be massive think working in the Hebridies, Orkneys or Shetland. Many rural primary schools are still a long way from major cities or even towns. The wonderful thing about this is you can really become part of the community very quickly. Give it ago. The other employers you might like to look at are the indigenous community schools in the North of Western Australia, I think there may be a few in the NT as well. If you are looking for adventure and personal growth. Go for it. Working in another culture is great fun.
    If you have any questions I'll see what I can do.
  5. I'm secondary and on the new Australian SMPs they only want STEM subjects, which rules me out.
    I did a recce (and holiday) in NZ (our summer hols) and spent some time in schools there, with the specific aim of working out how easy it would be to get job. Every school I contacted was eager to meet me, invite me into school and several offered me a job on the spot! I visited both secondary and 'area' schools which do the whole year 1-13 range (area schools tend to be more rural and with a smaller school roll - every one I visited was fantastic).
    I'm currently still working in the UK, going through the visa process for NZ residence. So far everything has been very straight forward and easy to do myself. PM me if you want more help.
    p.s. the only difficult thing was leaving NZ when the hols ended and returning to my job here!

  6. Thanks again, Phie - of course, I need to take into consideration the differences in culture etc and all you have mentioned, definitely food for thought!

    Thanks Bobarkle, I see that secondary is still on the 'wanted' list in NZ, unlike primary. I am glad things have been straightforward regarding the visa process. I think a recce is going to be a vital part of my research.

    Once again, thanks for your time and experiences - this is the info I have been looking for!

  7. mrswallow

    mrswallow Occasional commenter

    There is a very long NZ thread on this forum, but if you have any questions about NZ teaching, way of life etc bounce over to that one and ask. Don't worry about asking obvious questions. There are a couple of primary teachers on there that will be happy to answer speciifc and general questions about primary in NZ. I'll try and answer questions about general NZ if you have any. We do rural over here in NZ quite well too....

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