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Returning to the UK

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by blue_badger, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. blue_badger

    blue_badger New commenter

    Hello Everyone,
    My husband and I met whilst teaching abroad 4 years ago and have decided to move back to the UK. We live in Spain so can be available for interviews.

    It will have been 5 years for him and 6 years for me being away. My husband is a Secondary Geography teacher and I'm a Primary Teacher. We currently both hold Director of school roles.

    Does anyone have any advice/personal experiences of moving back for work after teaching abroad? My husband has started applying for jobs and I will wait until he gets something. Nothing had come up yet so fingers crossed.

    Thanks so much
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Quite a lot of posters on this TES forum will probably suggest that returning to the UK might not be a good idea. There are plenty of other places to go to.
  3. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Most international teachers I have spoken to who moved back to the UK, quickly got out of there again. And this was pre-Brexit! I wish you luck, but be very careful about creating a massive regret
    ed717 and dumbbells66 like this.
  4. Ms_Love_

    Ms_Love_ Occasional commenter

    Dealing with the unmanageable workload, behaviour management and constant data crunching seem to be significant complaints from people I know who returned after an international stint.

    I suppose if you do get an interview back home (very likely in the current climate!) the school may want to know that you haven't been "institutionalised" from the international school expectations, which are quite different back home. Perhaps speak about evidence of stronger differentiation skills you have gained abroad, excellent professional development you have experienced and how the international experience has built your tenacity and resilience as a teacher and as a person. I suppose in an interview they want evidence that you haven't been out of the madness that is UK teaching for too long and haven't thrown your pedagogy out the window during your sun-kissed, stress-free and blissful life outside (just like I'm enjoying here in Asia. . . !).

    Also, everyone I know who went back to the UK did it for a year and then returned to international schools abroad again.
    the hippo likes this.
  5. blue_badger

    blue_badger New commenter

    Thanks everyone,
    Yes, it could be a bit of a shock going back, but to be honest, we don't feel like we can do another love abroad. Our current school in Spain do not pay nearly enough for the cost of living so we need to move. We are also very overworked so the UK doesn't seem too bad an opion; we want to buy a house and settle. Also, paying in to a pension that we will actually be able to use is important. I'm 39 this year so these things have finally started to be important!

    Thanks so much for all of the replies.
  6. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    you are working in the worse paying country in the world. look at other countries and you will be amazed at what you can earn
    Bentley89 likes this.
  7. blue_badger

    blue_badger New commenter

    Thanks again for replying. Yes, Spain is very poor for pay. However, I have wasted 6 years paying into pensions that I will never see. Doing this again and again is not an option anymore so we honestly feel that the UK is where we need to go to be able to settle.
  8. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    but in some places it is possible to take home upto, and even over $100 000 a year, plus have all your accommodation, flights, medical, utilities in some places, and even pension.

    join Search associates, and get ready for next years recruitment season.
  9. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Why will you never see the 6 years you paid in to Spain? Can't you just access that wherever you go? My father in law worked in several countries and now draws small pensions from them all which makes a larger whole.

    As mentioned, find a school somewhere you can buy a house, save money and live a good lifestyle. In Spain you are at the extreme end of a salary but it's not like this everywhere.

    Don't throw away the next 25 years of your life sitting in the rain being sworn at by kids and Ofsted just for a mediocre pension and a 3 bedroom semi.
    Bentley89, mermy, Mermaid7 and 2 others like this.
  10. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    wise words, as always
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    It is not often that I agree wholeheartedly with T0nyGT, but in this case he has taken the words right out of my mouth!

    Yes, I have heard, from lots of different sources, that teachers in Spain are not well paid and the price of living there has got up quite a bit in recent years. But that does NOT mean that it is a good idea to go back to the UK. Yes, go back to Dear Old Blighty for family reasons. I could understand (and maybe applaud) that, but not otherwise.
    Bentley89 likes this.
  12. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I'm with the team here.
    Look elsewhere. The pay and conditions are better.
    And it's worth noting that in quite a lot of countries, you take care of your own pension, which might sound bad, but if you're responsible about it, it gives you the freedom to do whatever you want with your money rather than jumping through a million hoops. I've been abroad for over two decades already and none of my countries so far have been the least bit interested in offering me a pension. Some schools threw in a "retirement bonus" of sorts, but really if you're just religious about sticking a big slice of your monthly into an investment account, that'll do the trick.
    Bentley89 likes this.
  13. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    But you won’t lose the money you’ve paid into your seguridad social pension in unless Brexit) gets even sillier. You can just add it to what you pay into the British scheme. And the state pension in Spain is really pretty good in comparative term. My wife is nearly on the maximum and gets over 2000 euros a month 14 times a year.
  14. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Agree with all of the above! I also have a couple of small pensions around the world that I am looking forward to collecting! Although I might not go back to El Salvador for that one, its a bit far!
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  15. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, maybe the state pension in Spain is really good, miketribe, but I have heard from so many people that teachers' salaries are pretty dreadful.
  16. Jessaki

    Jessaki Occasional commenter

    I am in Germany and my school has an excellent salary and benefits. Yes, you pay a lot in tax etc, but still take home pay is way more than in the UK and the standard of living is far better. If you have been in an international school for many years, you have a good chance.
    Bentley89 and T0nyGT like this.
  17. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    That’s true. There are some schools that pay salaries that it would be difficult to live comfortably on, and none pay what you were used to in China... However, my wife I did OK, so there ARE schools where the pay is, if not generous, at least adequate....
  18. le2012

    le2012 New commenter

    As someone who is this year escaping the madness, I wholeheartedly agree. The funding cuts, impact of Universal Credit on Free School Meals and Pupil Premium numbers hence funding, Ofsted obsession, workload and leadership that copies the certain Hackney model are among many reasons I am leaving. It got to the point where it was just not worth it.
    Mermaid7 likes this.
  19. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    Everything else aside, have you done the maths? Do you already own property? You don't explain much your reasoning for returning to the UK and it's a big decision.

    I left the UK earlier in life than you and then went back. I quickly realised my financial situation was impossible: I'd never get on the property ladder and my pension, with all the time I had missed, would never support me.

    Now, at a similar age to you, I am out abroad again to earn enough for property and other investments. It may well be that the UK will work for you, but don't be afraid of looking at areas other than Spain. There is a lot out there.
  20. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Unless there's a family reason to go back - why would you? If it's about settling somewhere, then there are places where you can get paid more than in the UK, but the cost of living and property are less. If you go back, you will have to rent to start with anyway, and then apply for a mortgage after you've completed all probation periods. The only benefit I can see is that Brexit has pretty much stalled the housing market in the UK - but that means we're probably on the edge of a crash.

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