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Teaching in international schools with subject unrelated to degree?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by josh_east, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. josh_east

    josh_east New commenter

    Hey guys. I am considering retraining as an English teacher, but I don't have the subject at degree level. I have a 2:1 in Philosophy BA and I also hold a B at English A-level. I am much more interested in teaching internationally than in the UK, and since some British Council International Schools are now able to deliver NQT induction, I would if possible like to go straight into international teaching. However I am quite worried that my degree will hold me back. I could get accepted onto a PGCE if I top up my knowledge with an SKE, but I am not sure if I'd be able to get a job in an international school as an English teacher without the degree. I've already posted on here about teaching English in the UK without the degree, and it the consensus seems to be that I would not be able to get the more desirable jobs, at least at first.

    International Schools are, after-all fee-paying schools and I would imagine they would want to hire highly qualified teachers, so not having an English degree might make it difficult or impossible for me to find a job? But, on the other hand I have also heard that some international schools, not being subject to same bureaucracy as British schools, can be more flexible with regards to qualifications?

    Also, although some British international schools are able to induct NQTs, how many in practice actually hire them? I suppose they would have motivation to take them, as they wouldn't have to pay them as much? And one final question, is it possible to go from teaching in a British international school while qualified with a PGCE to teaching IB? Would I have to retrain again?
  2. Morena123

    Morena123 New commenter

    Some countries won't give you a visa with a mismatch between degree subject and teaching subject (especially in the Middle East).

    In other countries, it's down to individual schools rather than a visa issue. I've taught English on 2 different continents with a non-English (though not totally unrelated) degree... this has involved some luck and some persistence. I had taught my degree subject for several years in the UK first. I'm actually studying for an English degree online now for my own purposes but also so I have that piece of paper.

    Feel free to start a conversation with me if you want a bit more detail about where I've been and how I got there.

    Re IB... yes you can go from British curriculum schools with a PGCE (in the UK or overseas) into an IB school. Some schools are British curriculum until the end of Year 11 and then do the IB diploma, or they do PYP then NC/IGCSE and then IBDP. In general I'd say these are more likely to be open to staff with limited or no experience of IB. A fully IB school may be a bit more choosy but should also offer training to anyone who needs it.

    Re doing your NQT year abroad - this is definitely possible but I'm not sure how many schools do it. Again, some countries would be more difficult to get into I think. I would trawl through a load of ads on here, regardless of subject, and look out for which schools/locations specify if NQTs are welcome or not. Be aware that you may not get as much support as you would in the UK and you would want to be sure you're in a good school so you don't flounder too much! It's also worth considering that if you start your career abroad you may find it tricky to get back into a UK school if you decide to later return... I don't have any solid facts on that, just a gut feeling.

    Also, when applying for PGCE courses I wouldn't be that open about plans to immediately move abroad once qualified. If it's an oversubscribed course that might not go in your favour!

    Best of luck
  3. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I've sent you a PM.
  4. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    You are using your A-levels results..

    Stay in the UK, complete your PGCE and finish your NQT year.
  5. josh_east

    josh_east New commenter

    Thanks for the replies guys, I have sent some PMs
  6. josh_east

    josh_east New commenter

    Hey Morena123, thanks for the reply. I've tried to start up a conversation with you, but I can't find anyway of doing it! I have contacted the TES helpdesk to see if I need to verify my account or anything like that. Other members are able to send me messages and I can reply to them with no problems, would you mind starting up a conversation with me? Thanks so much!
  7. Morena123

    Morena123 New commenter

    I've sent you a conversation

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