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Anyone work in an international school?

(11 Posts)
ALickAndAPromise Wed 14-Oct-15 22:49:50

Could it be the answer to my work/family balance issues? I've seen my role advertised in a British international school in an Asian city I love. Possible role for dp too and free school places for dc.

Should I go for it? What do I need to bear in mind? Anyone else made the move to international schools...?

steppemum Wed 14-Oct-15 23:03:39

I did for a couple of years, great experience, great for dc to see the world etc. Things to consider:

1. is your dp allowed to work on your visa
2. What accommodation is included /not in your contract. What local accommodation costs are, and if school will help you find it.
3. when looking at salary remember you need to save for flights home etc.
4. family here - how old are parents, how likely is it you will get called home. Have you considered that grandchildren will miss grandparents etc.
5. age of your children, stage of education, how long you plan to stay, which year they would be in when you return (eg I wouldn't want to move a child between year 10 and 11, or if returning for secondary, think about when you would need to return for applications.)
6. curriculum. Both for your as a teacher and your kids. If it is an American school, then see point 5 above, their qualifications are hard to change into the UK system
7. For your kids, size of school, too small and there are no friends. Also very small schools, you will get loads of extra on your plate too.

steppemum Wed 14-Oct-15 23:22:08

just noticed it is a British school so ignore point 6!

spatchcock Thu 15-Oct-15 00:21:26

I'm not a teacher but a trailing spouse and our experience has been amazing. We have a great lifestyle and lots of perks. Money worries are a thing of the past.

Check out your school on ISR and talk to a teacher who is already there. Find out the nitty gritty about the role for your DP - eg will it be local wages, will he have health care etc. Find out about the make up of the student body - eg ours is a British school but 90% of the students are local. Something to consider when you think about whether your kids will acclimatise.

ConesOfDunshire Thu 15-Oct-15 21:23:58

Check if the package includes health insurance.

Investigate the schooling options for your own DC, for now and the future, and make sure that you're happy with curriculum / ethos etc. Friends spent some very happy years teaching in Malaysia but returned home to put their children through British schooling as even the international schools there had a very Chinese approach to instruction, which they weren't keen on. Lifestyle in other respects was superb and they were comfortably able to afford a nanny.

fatowl Sat 17-Oct-15 01:06:39

I teach EAL in Malaysia and I'm a governor at another international school.

Is the School a non-profit or a business? If it's a business is it privately owned or a corporate group? They all make for very different experiences.

If it is one of the big well known schools, it may well be a great opportunity, for you and your family. At the school where I'm a Governor, we have several long term couple teachers whose DC have also been through the School.
Properly run schools expect a high standard of teaching but paperwork pressure is less than working for a uk state school. (Imo)

Newer smaller schools are mushrooming all over Asia, particularly Malaysia and China. They are targeting the local market though, not the expats whose numbers are actually decreasing.
So even though it is marketed as BRitish International it is referring to the curriculum not the student base- they will be 99-100% local, as will the staff. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it's good to know what you're getting into.
The school where I teach is marketed as British IGCSE, I'm the only Brit on the staff and there is only one non local family (and they are from China) , but it's a nice school with great kids who want to learn and dedicated staff.
I have friends who've worked in some real nightmares though.

Happy to answer any other questions

fatowl Sat 17-Oct-15 01:11:31

I also agree with steppemum:
You need to check accommodation, car allowance, medical for the whole family not just you, flights home each year or at the end of contract?
Many schools will only put one of a couple on an expat contact - the spouse will be on a local contract.

fatowl Sat 17-Oct-15 01:14:52

Sorry me again- on phone so can't review what everyone has said before I post.

Read ISR but take with a pinch of salt, it is where disgruntled staff vent.

marcopront Sun 18-Oct-15 07:54:20

I've been teaching in international schools for nearly 18 years and love it.
I've been in Latin America, Africa and now Asia.

I agree with looking at ISR but also taking it with a pinch of salt.
There is a facebook group called International School teachers where you can also ask for information.

I have taught in five schools and loved four of them. The wrong school/country can make it a horrible experience.

ALickAndAPromise Mon 19-Oct-15 21:06:09

Thank you all so much; this has given me much focus to my thoughts. I hadn't heard of ISR. I had a read and it did seem to be very personal responses. I have a Skype interview scheduled - fingers crossed!

partialderivative Tue 20-Oct-15 06:39:32

I have worked in international schools for many years because I can't hack it in a UK classroom . For me the minimum requirements would be the following

Comprehensive health care for all family
Annual flights for all family
Free education for my children
Furnished accommodation provided (or assistance in finding it if in Europe)
Decent salary.

As a rule I would avoid 'for profit' schools, their priorities may not be the same as yours.

If I think of anything else I will add later.

When is your interview? Good luck

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