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Teaching in the Netherlands

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Jocelyn92, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Jocelyn92

    Jocelyn92 New commenter

    Hi all,

    Just wondered if anyone is able to answer any questions about teaching in the Netherlands? My husband has been offered a job there and we are seriously considering the move!

    I’d like to know about...

    - work life balance compared to the UK? I’m currently working 7:30am-6pm and just exhausted by it all!

    - pay. I’m currently on M5 and don’t want to get a pay cut considering the Netherlands is far more expensive compared to where I currently live in the UK!

    - Netherlands life style - what’s it like? Pros and cons?

    Would appreciate hearing anyone’s experiences of living and/or working in Holland

    Thanks in advance!
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I had a lady colleague who had worked at a well-known British school in the Netherlands. The pros? Oodles of culture, a huge salary, lots of good beer, very easy to get back to the UK to see friends and family. The cons? Horrendously expensive accommodation and high taxes. Did she save any money during her time in the Netherlands? Not a penny.
  3. Sharpie123

    Sharpie123 New commenter

    My husband is Dutch and we’re frequent self catering visitors. I’m not sure the cost of living is higher than the UK. Supermarket shopping is often cheaper especially for fruit and veg and alcohol. The Dutch eat very well. A beer in a bar is cheaper and wine about the same. Public transport is excellent and often cheaper for long journeys. Or you can get on your bike! Utilities seem to be about the same.

    I can’t comment on accommodation except to say that it depends on where you live. My nieces think their cousins’ rent in London is crazy ~ about double what they would pay in Amsterdam. But that’s London ~ and they do live in suburban Amsterdam.

    Income tax is higher ~ but again, it depends on your income.

    They are one of the most family friendly nations in Europe and have the highest rate of part time workers because of their focus on work life balance. But they do put a high focus on the yearly exam results, the parents are demanding and they have similar behaviour attitudes to the UK.

    I guess it all depends what you are looking for. Hope that helps.
  4. Powergnome3

    Powergnome3 Occasional commenter

    Similar behaviour attitudes to the UK? Forget it then!! :(
  5. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    I went for an interview at an international school in Den Haag. It was an absolutely lovely school, I would have happily worked there. I was very impressed by the pupils and the work-life balance. However, they could only offer me a salary £3,000 under what I was earning at the time - like you I was on M5 - so once I'd taken out taxes and family health insurance (there's no NHS equivalent in the Netherlands) it wasn't financially viable for us. I made it clear I couldn't accept on those terms, so they didn't offer me the job.

    Ayear later I took a job in Spain where, thanks to free healthcare, lower taxes, cheaper food, and the school offering my wife a job too, we can afford to live very comfortably despite taking a £8,000 pay cut! It's a funny old world!
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  6. Jocelyn92

    Jocelyn92 New commenter

    Thank you that’s really useful! What was it that made the work life balance appear better?

    That’s a crazy pay cut for Spain but funny how it makes it viable in a different country! Amazing the difference a country can make!

    Thank you
  7. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    I think it was the part of the interview day when I was waiting around in the staff room for my observed lesson and a staff member came in, grabbed their coat and said "bye everyone, see you tomorrow!"

    It was 11am.

    It turned out (the other teachers in the staff room were very friendly and chatty) that there was no presentee-ism: i.e. if your timetable finished at 11am, you could go home at 11am. Likewise, if you didn't start teaching until 2pm, no need to turn up until 30 mins beforehand. Amazing! Also, a standard teacher only had 60% contact hours.

    Hence the better work-life balance. No idea if this was standard for the Netherlands, or just that particular school.

    Good luck with your applications and decisions.
  8. Mr Sir

    Mr Sir New commenter

    That does sound like a state Dutch school. That's definitely not the case in International/British type school in NL.
  9. Jocelyn92

    Jocelyn92 New commenter

    What do you mean by this? Can you tell me more about international/British schools in the NL?
  10. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    No, it was an International School. Language of instruction was English, and less than 10% of students were Dutch (and those were nearly all students who had returned to the Netherlands from overseas).

    However, I seem to recall that they were following (or claimed to be following) a Dutch pay scale based on experience- which is why they (claimed they) couldn't offer me a higher salary (althoguh they did take the 3 years I'd spent TEFL teaching into consideration).

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