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Should I only apply to International Schools who are accredited by councils/membership organisations?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by jessjaw, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. jessjaw

    jessjaw New commenter

    I was advised by a friend to only apply to schools in South East Asia, who are members of a certain federation.
    Is this good advice? Are there other councils/organisations that are well-regarded? I basically want to know that the schools I apply for are good schools who treat their employees well, which is really hard to tell when I'm unable to visit them. Any messages to my inbox would be great! Also, if you know of schools in Kuala Lumpar to avoid or that are really good, please let me know!
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    The International Schools' Review might be your first port of call. Some people would no doubt argue that too many of the reviews on the *** website are scurrilous, poisonous and negative. Others (myself included) would argue that the lousy reviews are exactly what lousy schools fully and justly deserve.
    As an individual teacher, it is rather difficult to tell whether or not a school really is a member of such-and-such an organisation. Some claim to be, but they are not. Some schools say that they are in the process of being accredited.
    Does accreditation really make any difference anyway? Having taught in international schools in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Romania, the UAE and Qatar, I have to be honest and say that, in my honest opinion, accreditation does not mean very much. It certainly is no guarantee that you as a teacher will be treated fairly.
    To be honest, the only real way to have a fairly accurate idea of what it is like to be teaching at a particular school is to communicate to someone who is currently teaching there or who has taught there recently. (You cannot do this openly on this forum because the TES moderators will probably delete your post if you mention a specific school.)
    What constitutes a "good" or "bad" school? Any fair person would surely agree that these things are a bit subjective. Well, you could ask for a one-year contract, so you won't have to put up with it for too long if it does go pear-shaped.
  3. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    It also depends quite a lot on where you lie in the pecking order.
    Fresh out of teacher training college, NQT without induction and no experience. The chances are only the dodgy outfits will take a chance on you.
    A couple of years worth of teaching experience will mean that the more established schools will be willing to consider you.
    A few more years down the line, with the somewhat overrated IBDP experience, a couple of schools under your belt and experience of living abroad will now make you interesting to most schools.
    This is generally how things work, but they are not hard and fast rules.
  4. lennoc

    lennoc New commenter

    Being accredited by any organisation (IB/WCIS/ECIS/IGCSE - there are endles acronyms) really doesn't say much about the school except that it is willing to pay for accreditation and to jump through hoops.
    Read *** but do take it with a grain of salt. My last 2 schools both had horrendous reviews (I wrote more balanced ones later) but I took that information as part of a whole picture and decided to work there anyway. Both times it was a good decision.
    Get as much information from the schools as you can. Apply for anything that seems reasonable and ask to talk to teachers who work there if you are getting close to accepting a job.

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