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Teacher from Germany

Discussion in 'Overseas trained teachers' started by JackFrober, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. JackFrober

    JackFrober New commenter

    Hello everyone,

    I am a fully qualified teacher in Bavaria, Germany. My subjects are English, Religious Education and School Psychology and I teach at the most difficult kind of secondary school (ages 11-18), the type that leads right to university here.
    And I am native of Germany.

    I am thinking about moving to England to teach there and I know that I need to obtain QTS. I was told that QTS is not connected to certain subjects then, which sounds unrealistic to me. So basically that would mean that even though I don't have any formal training in teaching German, being a native speaker, schools would still hire me.

    Does anyone have any experience concerning that? Is it possible to teach one's native language without formal training or is some kind of training required?

    Also, would schools hire me as an English teacher, even though I am not a native speaker?

    Being a school psychologist in Germany, I can do counselling at schools. Would this be possible in England too?

    Thank you very much!
    Anna_Bell_Eck likes this.
  2. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    You've raised a number of queries:

    1. You do need QTS in state schools (or you would be paid as an unqualified); Academies, Independents and some other schools do not require it, but it is nevertheless very helpful to have.
    2. You may have some success in teaching German, but (a huge but...) it is an increasingly decreasing subject and would be in competition with teachers with UK secondary experience and with QTS (and many who are native speakers).
    3. Schools would most likely not hire you as an English teacher as they prefer native speakers and....

    You really need to get QTS, which could lead to working as a supply teacher (substitute teacher), which would allow you to get some experience in a UK secondary, which would mean you could get known, which could mean a job....

    and a bit pedantic, yes, but ...to write that you work in the most difficult of secondary school infers behavioural issues, perhaps you meant: the most academically challenging school? and the majority of our secondaries (unless vocational in nature) lead to the various exams (GCSE, A-levels or IB) that then lead to university.
  3. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter


    A few points:

    1. You are better off with QTS than without. And no, you cannot just become a teacher of German here - you have no knowledge of specifications, exam boards, or the UK education system.

    2. German is dying in many schools - the preference is for French or Spanish. As for teaching English, you have no knowledge of specifications, exam boards, or the UK system.

    3. Counselling in schools? No. Safeguarding is paramount and that need is performed by external agencies.

    4. Supply work is drying up. Moving here to do supply in the hope it will lead to something permanent is a very risky strategy.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Hullo there! I'll start by introducing myself - I am the TES Jobseekers Forum host, the official spokesperson if you like on all things appointment-wise.

    Here are, therefore, the official answers:

    1. You do need QTS, but can gain it very simply by having your German qualification recognised in the UK. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/qualified-teacher-status-qts It is incorrect, as stated by @sabrinakat that Academies and Independent schools do not require QTS, as most of them do, although it is not a legal necessity

    2. You are unlikely to be considered for a post teaching German as you have no knowledge or experience of the Examination Specifications. German is taught in fewer schools than it once was, and in most schools it is taught by someone who mainly teaches French or Spanish, as there is insufficient German teaching to fill a timetable

    3. You are extremely unlikely to be considered for a post teaching English as you have no knowledge or experience of the Examination Specifications, and are not a native speaker.

    4. There is little availability for school counsellors

    5. Gaining QTS will not guarantee you any supply teaching, especially for a subject where there is little demand. You are unlikely to be able to live on your earnings.

    I'm sorry to be giving you the answers that you don't want to hear, but I wouldn't like you to be under any misapprehension here. It would be very difficult indeed for you to earn a living teaching in the UK.

    Anna_Bell_Eck likes this.
  5. JackFrober

    JackFrober New commenter

    Thank you very much for your replies. I am not a fan of beating around the bush, so I do appreciate it!
    Your blunt explanations, even though maybe a bit disappointing, are nevertheless of great help to me as they show that I shouldn't waste my energy/time in that area and they confirm what I was told by another German teacher in the UK. So, thanks again!
    NobodyKnowstheTrouble likes this.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  7. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I would just like to corroborate what TheoGriff says about QTS - having taught in two Independents and an Academy, with QTS, I can state that they are more interested in those that have it than not.
  8. NobodyKnowstheTrouble

    NobodyKnowstheTrouble New commenter

    You do not need QTS to teach in an Academy or an independent but most teachers working there do or are strongly recommended to get QTS, so CWadd and TheoGriff are of course correct. HOWEVER, it is the least of the difficulties that you would face. I think Sabrina cat was perhaps trying to be helpful; she did mention the huge problems that you would face otherwise, e.g. not a native speaker, no UK experience, etc.

    Oddly, in my current school - we do have three full-time German teachers, but it is an exception (in outer London).
  9. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Well, I have taught in two independents and an Academy myself, without QTS, so I can state that for the right person, exceptions can be made. However, I do have limited UK experience (although 10 years + otherwise teaching experience) and did not think it appropriate to mention personal experience as that has been a justifiable criticism when I have given advice (and why I did not mention in my original post), but CWadd chose to mention her personal experience.....

    To the OP, without experience of the UK system (including the exam specifications, etc) , it will be virtually impossible, sorry....
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
    NobodyKnowstheTrouble likes this.
  10. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Because it was relevant to the point Theo made, that's why. Yes, exceptions can be made - but generally, they are not.

    So sorry it offended you.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
    NobodyKnowstheTrouble likes this.
  11. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Indies will appoint unqualified people if there's no-one qualified.
  12. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Did I say that? Nor did I aim it at Sabrinakat - I was explaining to the OP the circumstances under which an unqualified teacher could be appointed. In the state sector, it was previously not permited to appoint an unqualified teacher if there were qualified ones.

    Who are you to tell me what is and is not "asked for"?
  13. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    What a nasty, uncalled for comment! [and yes, it was clearly aimed at me]

    Whilst I appreciate your comments, Nobodyknows, MM knows full well how patronising and nasty her comment is. I went through the ordinary interview processes, was short-listed, went to interviews and and was offered positions in competition with NQTs, PGCE-qualified teachers and others with postgraduate qualifications. In my last position (a one-year fixed term), I was at interview with three other candidates who had PGCEs (two in my field) and was offered the job at the same salary as the NQTs would have been. In my current position, I was against several QTS teachers and was offered the position at the same rate. So, perhaps you can't look beyond the bog-standard, cookie-cutter PGCE/NQT, Middlemarch, but what about all the various programmes that allow people like me (extensive other experience, qualifications, etc) to become secondary teachers - what you are doing with your nasty comments is to show what a nasty person YOU are...

    I only got interviews or jobs because there was nobody else was qualified...
    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines]
    NobodyKnowstheTrouble likes this.
  14. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Forgive me - I was under the impression you were qualified. I thought you'd completed the fast-track process (and Theo referred to it again the other day) - this is why I was certainly not aiming my remark about indies at you.
  15. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    and no, I shouldn't have sworn...apologies to the other posters.

    Yes, I have sorted the paperwork out and will get 'QTS' through the Assessment Only route in a month or so, but your comment was aimed at me - I said that I had worked at two independents and an academy (mirroring CWadd's note) without QTS.

    MM, you are my only 'ignore' - perhaps we should keep it that way - I ignore you; you ignore me.

    best wishes
    NobodyKnowstheTrouble likes this.
  16. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    and apologies to the OP....
  17. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Mind reader as well. Sometimes, it's NOT about you. Here are the issues:

    1. State schools used not to be able to appoint unqualified teachers if there were any qualified applicants. Academies and free schools now can, the others can't.
    2. Independent schools can appoint who they like, but most still will not appoint unqualified teachers if there are qualified teachers.
    3. I was under the impression you were now qualified and had been appointed as such to an independent school.
    4. I've been giving information/advice on here since 2005. I give information/advice when I feel I've something to add.
  18. NobodyKnowstheTrouble

    NobodyKnowstheTrouble New commenter

    and again, MM - it's not about YOU.
    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines]


    ps. just because you've been giving advice since 2005 doesn't mean it's always the right or appropriate advice....or that your abrasive attitude is acceptable to all.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  19. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Says person who keeps stirring it.
  20. NobodyKnowstheTrouble

    NobodyKnowstheTrouble New commenter

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