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Want to teach overseas after PGCE but worried about NQT

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by zgjim_konjuhi, Jan 11, 2017.


Does working abroad after getting QTS reduce chances of getting NQT

  1. Yes - significantly

  2. Yes - marginally

  3. No, not at all

  4. Neither / Depends

  1. Happy New Year everyone!

    This if my first post on the TES forums and I have done some searches but haven't found anything similar to what I am looking for so apologies if one already exists.

    I graduate from my PGCE in May this year and would really like to teach in Dubai for a short while before doing my NQT.

    Some background, I have visited Dubai and like it. Also my partner and friends live out there and have some contacts with links to schools so finding a job shouldn't be too difficult.

    I would really like some more insight and clarification on my concerns which are as follows:

    1. There seem to be many interpretations of the "5 year rule" one of which is after graduating from the PGCE and getting the QTS, I would have a 5 year limit to complete the NQT. Another definition is this time limit is only for being able to do non-induction supply work before having to then take the NQT post and that there actually is NO time limit on when you can get the NQT after graduating from the PGCE and getting QTS. I have seen definitions online differing from what practicing teachers say in reality. Please can someone clarify and confirm the definition.

    2. Note, I do want to get my NQT eventually but if I do go ahead and find a teaching job in Dubai and take a few years out (e.g. 1-3 years), how would that impact my chances of getting my NQT when I come back in England?

    I have only been able to get one straight answer to the question in person which was from a headteacher and they didn't recommend it. As an employer and recruiter of NQT posts she said it's not seen as favourable but did not concretely say why.
    I would have thought that teaching abroad would only add value to ones CV? There are British curriculums also taught there so can anyone clarify how teaching abroad would make you less competitive towards a new PGCE grad QTS/ or even a QTS with UK experience?

    Also I would assume the answer to this question 2) is also dependent on the market which in other posts going back as far as 2011 show that the market for such was difficult. It would be great if I could get a clearer picture of how the market is today as well.

    3. If I apply to jobs in Dubai now and jobs in the England and get accepted to a position in both countries, does rejecting the one in England have a negative impact on me later when I try to come back for the NQT induction?

    4. My only concern about actually going to teach in Dubai for whatever time and coming back to do the NQT is that you only have one shot to do the NQT and if you fail, then there is no second chances (I know you can appeal but who would want to bank on that). I understand that if you can, getting the NQT right after the PGCE would be ideal to maintain momentum and make it relatively easier to complete. However before taking the NQT when I get back, is it possible to take non-induction supply work to get back in the UK curriculum mind-set and swing of things and build up that momentum again before starting the induction to get the NQT?

    Apologies in advance if my understanding of these processes are inaccurate/misinformed. I am on here so I can learn /correct my understanding as much as possible.

    I may have more questions as the thread proceeds but for now, these are the main questions I have.

    Thank you in advance for your responses. Looking forward to them.

    Best regards,

  2. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    "...so finding a job shouldn't be too difficult"

    What are you basing that on? I would say that finding a job in a very desirable country, with no teaching experience would, on the contrary, be extremely difficult.

    I would say that your biggest issue, by far, is securing a job in Dubai for September in an academic year where there have been very little international positions when compared to previous years.

    Therefore, your NQT issue might not be an issue at all.
    the hippo likes this.
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Some wise words from T0nyGT.

    Why oh why is Dubai so popular with young(ish) teachers?
  4. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    why don't you do your NQT year first? and avoid the whole issue?
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Perhaps the OP wants to get a job at a really scummy school in Doobuy that always employs lots of NQTs, for some strange reason.
  6. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Another vote for completing your NQT before working abroad, for two reasons.

    1. You may never return to the UK within the 5 years to complete your NQT. Then you have to head back to college for a top up training course.(I know several people who have done this.)

    2. I now seeing many schools now asking for your Teacher Reference number as point one on the application form.

    There is now oversupply of applicants for the good jobs and schools now can be more choosy/fussy/picky. I have recently seen application form stating that the iPGCE is not acceptable as a teaching qualification, last year they accepted anybody with a pulse.
  7. fsmc

    fsmc Occasional commenter

    Is Dubai really a desirable country? Sure, as far as the Gulf states are concerned it'd be at the top, but I'd still prefer to work pretty much anywhere else.

    The largest reasons to leave straight away are because the UK sucks and you'll be on more money. If you want to go back to the UK (why???) general consensus seems to be that going abroad will hurt you rather than help.
  8. fsmc

    fsmc Occasional commenter

    You get a teacher reference number as an NQT. I have one and I've not finished the PGCE yet.
  9. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    The glitz and glamour of Dubai seems to attract a lot of very young teachers looking to sell their souls for an apartment on the palm. Unfortunately, the OP will be competing against all these.
  10. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    i have a teacher registration number and i have never done my NQT. i got QTS from my 4 year B.ed.

    i think a lot of people think that Dubai is the place to make lots of money....it probably was 15 years ago, but is definitely towards the middle to low end of the available packages out there. they will however take NQT's due to the number of dodgy schools out there.

    never saw the appeal myself, i think its one of the most fake places i have ever been. not even a fan of the airport, and thats about as close as i try and get these days.
  11. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Does the number come on a letter to say you are a qualified teacher and you meet the requirements to be employed as such in a state school?
  12. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    yes.... because i have Qualified Teacher Status.... the NQT is just a probationary year, and their last chance to get rid of you....or at least thats how it was explained to me by a Head once.
  13. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Your BEd gives you QTS as mine does, but you are not allowed to take up employment as a teacher in a state/LEA school in your own right until you have completed your NQT/Probation year. The NQT will get an employment contract saying it will only become permanent after a successful probation has been completed.

    After you have completed your NQT year you should receive a letter from the DfE after your Head Teacher has completed the necessary paper work. This letter is the only real proof you have to show your are a fully qualified and registered teacher. I had to use this letter to register with the General Teaching Council for the membership card. The school in the UK I was working at refused to issue a permanent contract until I coughed up the GTC card as proof of my teaching qualification and completion of my NQT year.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  14. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I don't really see the point of teaching ovetseas if you are already thinking about when you will be coming back to the UK.
  15. Jessaki

    Jessaki Occasional commenter

    I would also advise to do the NQT year first. You need at least a full year's worth of classroom experience. However well you may be doing on your PGCE course, the NQT year is an entirely different thing. I have seen many NQTs who sailed through a PGCE and got a reality check when they started their NQT year. The first year of teaching is where you really learn your strengths and weaknesses. It's a tough year and some schools in the UK offer excellent support, some don't. I can bet that most international schools will offer very little. They pay highly, because they expect you to be able to do the job. Don't get me wrong, I am sure there are really supportive international schools, who would be willing and able to support an NQT, but they will be few and far between - and there will be no union support if things do not go to plan or you do not get the level of support promised / needed.

    Additionally, I am in my first international post and as a teacher with 6 years teaching and HoD experience in tough(ish) school in the UK, this first term was really tough - for the exact reasons above. They expected me to be able to get on a do the job. Even though things are done much differently here, different curriculum, different classes, different students, different abilities / needs - there was some support, but not what you would expect or could request in the UK and the reason being is they paid for experience. I would never have been able to do the first term had I not had a bank of resources, tried and tested teaching strategies and administration procedures to rely on.

    I would think carefully first. Even if you secured a job in a school in Dubai for a few years, a UK school might still prefer an NQT with the most recent training, who has not picked up any bad habits abroad - so going back is not necessarily easy. Schools don't have a lot of money for CPD, so NQTs from PGCE courses tend to come with the most up to date training, which is always desirable!
  16. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    That information is wrong, you get your certificate and teacher number after you have completed your training year (PGCE, School Direct etc) and are a fully qualified teacher. I have worked at schools who give out permanent contracts to teachers who haven't completed the NQT year.

    How long have you been out of the UK? The GTC membership was closed in 2012.

    I am also pretty sure the 5 year rule to complete your NQT has gone and you can take as long as you want.

    So to answer the open post, do you what you think is best, you can come back at any point to complete your NQT year as long as you can get a job (You probably will, but expect to be on the NQT wage and if you have taught in Dubai for 10 years that will be a shock).

    The question should be, are you ready to teach at an International school, these are playing customers and expect results, I know I wouldn't have been ready for this kind of pressure after my training year, if you don't perform or are struggling you will get little support compared to the UK and they could get rid of you at the drop of a hat.
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  17. mollymillions

    mollymillions New commenter

    1 - Most schools only offer contracts of two years so going for 1 year probably isn't an option.
    2 - A lot of schools in the UK don't recognise teaching abroad as time teaching for the purposes of pay scale etc so you may find that they essentially treat you as though you have been doing something other than teaching for the time you are away. This may make it more difficult to find a position on your return.

    I can't speak for Dubai but many international schools want teachers to have completed their NQT year before they will consider them as a hire. I'd stay and do the year if I was you - if nothing else it will make you a much better teacher.
  18. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Do your NQT first, for so many reasons, not the least of which is starting your career with the support it deserves.
  19. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Some wise words, particularly from Jessaki. I hope that Jessaki will become a regular commenter on this forum!

    Does international experience make you more or less "marketable", once you have returned to teaching in the UK? Well, the jury still seems to be out on that one. Maybe it depends a lot on what and where you were teaching overseas, plus how long. In many ways, I do not think that teaching in my present school in China could be a preparation for teaching in a tough school in the UK! Or maybe I am just a fat and lazy old hippo.
  20. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    Breaking down the OP's post - Dubai is his/her preference because their partner is there - which makes sense to me.

    I think the general consensus is (both on this forum where this subject has been done to death, revived, re-done to death over and over ad infinitum; but also from SLT I have worked with both in the UK and overseas) is that get your NQT year under your belt and then move on for greener, or in this case, sandier, pastures. If you have done one academic year apart, why not one more? In the great stretch of things, it won't make too much difference. Although both the PGCE and NQT are tough (the latter is, in my opinion, much tougher than the PGCE), you get the school holidays which make long-distance quite do-able in the short-term. Besides, you will be far too busy in term time to have a relationship! There's also that general truism that international schools who employ fresh meat after just a PGCE are usually those to avoid (this can vary on subject specialism, but generally holds true).

    I did my time in the UK (NQT then two more years) then moved overseas and have never looked back. There are people out there who have never completed their NQT and have also never looked back: but never say never, is what I say. Despite our protestations that we'll never return to the UK, who can ever say for certain? It's all very easy to say this when one is young and healthy and one's family is also relatively so. Family illness (particularly those long, difficult terminal ones) or other emergencies can bring us back - and for my money I'd prefer to be fully qualified should I ever be drawn back to a UK chalkface (shudder).

    My advice? Suck it up. Get it done then move on free of the need to come back and do it.
    dunnocks likes this.

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