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Teaching in Australia - All it's cracked up to be?

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by Christopher Curtis, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    I don?t know if teaching in Australia is ?all it?s cracked up to be?, but if this site is accurate about teaching in the UK (England more so than Scotland), it is much better in Victoria than over there. We have lower class sizes, lower teaching loads, better protection of part-time teachers, less jargon (though it?s getting worse), no OFSTED or its equivalent, no SMT and no ban on speaking out as citizens against the government even if it is the employer.

    Be careful on pay rates. Victorian teachers start on $55,549 (£35,000 at current exchange rates) and can reach $81,806 without promotion (£51,500 000 at current exchange rates). However, exchange rates are very misleading. When I visited the UK in 1998, the exchange rate was about 35p to the dollar, so the above salaries would have been £19,400 and £28,600, but they would have bought exactly the same amount in Australia. It doesn?t matter the exchange rate is ? 20p to the dollar, 50p to the dollar or 80p to the dollar ? the salary will buy exactly the same in Australia. Of course, if you come to Australia to earn money to pay off your UK mortgage, the higher the exchange rate, the better off you will be. If you come to Australia to spend your money on food, clothing, accommodation, travel, etc, within Australia, then the exchange rate is meaningless. Put it this way. Four houses near where I live ? on the edge of Melbourne ? sold for $470,000, $535,000, $550,000 and $568,000. They were all on decent sized blocks of land ? 1,000 square metres or more. They all had three or four bedrooms, en suite, a living/dining room, a family room, a decent kitchen, a garage or a carport, a laundry, a bathroom, a separate toilet (which I mention because, as a fan of Escape to the Country, I am intrigued by the almost universal placement of the toilet in the bathroom in the UK) and very nice gardens. Two had rumpus rooms. In some outer suburbs of Melbourne, you will get similar houses, though on smaller blocks of land, for $400,000. A newspaper costs $1.10. A bottle of wine is less than $10. A brand new Mazda 6 is being advertised at $33,990 ?drive away no more to pay?. Petrol is about $1.40 a litre, but it fluctuates wildly. Finally, taxes are low compared with most of the OECD, though people here complain about what they pay. Our GST is 10 per cent, compared with your VAT at 20 per cent.

    I?m not sure about which degrees are accepted and which are not, but you can get advice from the teacher registration authorities of each state on that.

    There?s a longer discussion at Teaching in Australia
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    A very old friend of mine who later became a colleague with whom I taught for a number of years (she eventually became the acting HT) moved out to WA in the late 90s and has been teaching there since she arrived. Her husband, who had a maths degree, was not a teacher here but is now a Head of Department in a Perth school. Terms and conditions over there are superior to ours (even when ours were worth something).
    Both love it and they have a lifestyle that they could never have aspired to here - she's been commenting on facebook about how warm her swimming pool is at the moment.

  3. Teaching in Britan was a wonderful experience. I taught in schools in England and Scotland. I now work in the ACT.
    I have a four year degree and a Graduate Diploma of Education. I believe the PGDE is a similar degree. Most states require you to have at least 50 days of teaching prac in your education degree.
    I have 7 years of experience and earn 70 grand + 9% superanuation and 17% leave loading. If I stay teaching in the ACT for ten years I will be intitled to take 6 months off on full pay. I am expected to be at work for 7 hours and 26 minues a day or something like. My teaching load is 19 hours a week face to face contact as a secondary teacher I then have to do 6X 20 mins of playground duty a fortnight. Most days, I have at least one period of planning and preparation time and quiet a few I have 2 periods. School starts at 8:40 and finnishes at 2:49. 2 afternoons a week I have mettings that go until about 4:30. I do not have not run clubs or GCSE catch up classes nor would I ever be expected to even at college.
    I think this has been mentioned. No Ofsted, No HMIE, limited lesson observations nothing like those in Britian. Planning requirements are less as well, good teaching requires planning but we don't have to go to extraordinary lengths. For me it is a only a unit plan I have to submitt by week 3 of the semester.
    As a public school teacher with permenacy, I basically cannot be fired short of gross incompetence or criminal act. If I don't like my school or my collegues I can apply for a transfer to another school in the ACT.
    I loved the experience of teaching in Britian, and Scotland in particular. But my god it was ridiculously hard work compared to here.

  4. Reason I'm thinking about it is that my son and his wife are in the middle of filling out applications considering the move.

    I have another son who is out there at the moment, although not in teaching.

    If they go, my daughter will be at their back - we took them to Australia years ago, Sydney in fact, and well, they always wanted to live there!
    Dreading the outcome!
  5. Hi Potatoes,
    I live in Canberra, my mother in Perth, that's 3000 km or so. My mother's view is it's a lovely excuse for a holiday. She thought the same when I was in the UK as well. Think positive.
    Ultimately, whether Australia or the UK is better is a matter of personal opinion. The hardest thing is when you grown up with things being one way it is very hard to adjust to something different. Australia is definently not just the UK with sun. We do things differently. Sometimes better sometimes worse.
    Just think of the holidays you will be able to have if they do come out here.


  6. Funny thing, this: the countries (like Oz and Canada, which fits the description in the quoted post) where teachers are treated as professionals and allowed to get on with the job of TEACHING without being inspected, observed, and micro-managed to death are the countries that routinely beat the UK/Scotland on all the international league tables.
    When is the penny going to drop, folks? When is British education going to follow the lead of the colonies?
    Aye, right.
  7. That's not a good thing. If the water is that warm the air is a good 10-15 degrees warmer. On a hot day you want a refreshing dip in the pool. If the water is too warm it is a pointless excercise you might as well stay on the aircon. Considering Perth is have high 30's low 40's you should probably pity her.
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Thank you, I feel better about it now!
  9. I still get asked by locals why I have foresaken the delights of the Lucky Country for the frozen wastes of Scotland. My response is to add to their picture postcard knowledge of Oz by listing the non-delights - such as blistering heat, high humidity, bush fires, droughts, mosquitoes, snakes, spiders, all sorts of sea nasties etc. It usually puts them off Queensland!
  10. It's easy to get put off by the extreme things like heat, humidity and undesirable creatures, but luckily Melbourne has less of those things!
    A few wee spiders here and there is worth it, and the weather in Melbourne isn't all that different to Scotland season-wise, although it is nice to get an actual summer in Melbourne rather than the pretend ones we get here.
    It's been 6 years since I was in Oz, but I'm hoping it hasn't changed that much since I plan to apply for a visa after I get married this year!
  11. WAIT!!! You forgot the great new two, Droughts and flooding rain!! OH WAIT we've always had that! [​IMG] Hang on, I'm a West Australian not a banana bender.
    The heat isn't that bad once your used to it. But then my Scottish collegues thought that 20 degrees was scorching?????t Snakes are not that common. Spiders, easy solved, with something called a shoe. sea nasties, and sand in indecent places. In Canberra humidity isn't too bad but it is an excellent excuse not to go to Queensland and the theme parks.

  12. marsh9382

    marsh9382 New commenter

    Dear Phie

    My name is Craig i am 28 and are thinking of emigrating to Australia with my wife and two children! I am currently completing my my NQT year in year1/2 class i did my QTS year in year 3 and have worked as a Higher Level Teaching Assistent for 3 years in Primary and have done 3 years as a cover suporvisor and Teaching Ass in Secondary! I have a degree in Recreation Management along with other qualifications to back my acedemic ability up!
    My post to you is from previous research on teaching over there! My teaching course of 1 year was dont as a GTP, and i have heard that this is not recognised in Australia!!! Is this right??? If so can you give me any information on what i can do or advice PLEASE!!!! The GTP course was run through Bradford Teaching College in the UK, it wasn''t a company running the course!!!

    My email is marsh9382@yahoo.co.uk
    I would be very very very greatful if you have time to advise me on where i stand and what to do

    Thanks for your time Craig

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