Teachers “remain positive” about their experiences in international schools, although research shows that nine out of ten school leaders find recruiting qualified teachers “very” or “extremely tough.”
According to the Council of British International Schools’ Teacher Supply report, schools are attempting to address teacher supply obstacles by increasing local staff recruitment and engaging in training new teachers in their locality, adapting recruitment practises, and focusing more on supporting staff wellbeing.
Although 91 percent of British international school leaders said recruitment was difficult, this is a lower proportion than in 2018, when 94 percent said it was difficult. The study, conducted in collaboration with ISC Research, had 1,600 responses and revealed that 40% of school directors reported a decreased volume of applicants for each position compared to two years earlier. Furthermore, only 19 percent said they are always able to find people who satisfy their standards (down from 25 percent in 2020 and 26 percent in 2018).
“The international school sector, like other sectors, has undergone considerable challenges in recent years,” COBIS CEO Colin Bell said.
According to the poll, many teachers regard foreign experience as an important element of their global teaching career since it allows them to “grow personally and professionally, and has a definite role in maintaining teachers in the field.” According to the survey, travel and cultural exploration, as well as enjoyment and challenge, remain the primary motivators for teachers to work globally, with 59 percent of respondents expressing this.
Other factors that contribute include career advancement (49%) and compensation (47 percent ). The percentage of people citing unhappiness with their home school system as a cause for working abroad has dropped to 33%. (down from 42 percent in 2020 and 47 percent in 2018). Some 52% of senior executives noticed a decline in applications moving from the UK, as well as fewer applicants travelling with families (41%), and experienced teachers (41%). (39 percent ).
A further 53% reported an increase in local applications, 39% in international applicants, 39% in younger candidates, and 38% in applicants who already work worldwide.
“COBIS continues to believe that recognising international experience as part of a well-rounded teaching career, facilitating teacher movement between sectors, and increasing teacher training and recognition in an international context will benefit both the UK and international education sectors and enable the growth and retention of the global teacher workforce,” Bell added.
The number of teachers who say they want to return to teaching in the UK has risen to 49 percent, up from 44 percent in 2018 and 43 percent in 2020.
Following the first COBIS report on Teacher Supply in British International Schools in 2018, COBIS chairman Trevor Rowell observed that the UK Department for Education produced the iQTS, which was implemented as part of the international education policy. Other efforts, he added, “also support and encourage returning to teaching in the UK.”
“However, more work is required, and COBIS is making proposals that will have a positive impact on teacher supply both domestically and internationally: Make education a worldwide profession; Extend and recognise international training possibilities, and Value and recognise the breadth of expertise and perspectives within the global teacher workforce.”
Between January and February of 2022, responses were gathered.
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