Tes Institute has recently partnered with the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) to support school leaders with the recruitment and retention of international teachers.
The teacher supply report
'The gap that keeps getting bigger' - a phrase that many teaching professionals might say is an accurate representation of the teacher shortage British and British international schools are experiencing right now. Why? Well, there are various reasons we see this, some examples: work-life balance, losing faith in the education system and lack of respect in the classroom to name just a few. A recent report from COBIS contacted 2,000 British international schools during February-March 2018 to find out more about this issue.
The detailed report captures the experiences and perspectives of more than 1,600 school leaders, incoming teachers (those entering the sector) and outgoing teachers (those leaving the sector).
What are the drivers?
It's no surprise that the report found many teachers move to international teaching for career and pay development purposes. However, drivers such as cultural exploration (71%) and enjoyment and challenges (63%) came out higher than the expected reason for a salary increase (44%). This suggests the majority are driven by intellectual challenge and fulfilment and motivated through emotional drivers over financial benefit.
The report highlights the importance of British international schools to the economy. It states that the UK style of education is becoming an increasingly valued method of teaching worldwide. So much so, the British international schools market is the UK's leading export and valued at over £1 billion according to recent government study*.
So what can we do to keep the British international pipeline healthy? How can school leaders keep their top international talent when we are seeing an increased number of teachers leaving the professional for non-retirement reasons?
New international training and development options
In any business, your people are the most important asset, so investing in them is essential. Making your school staff feel valued and enhancing their professional development is key to beating regular staff turnover.
A great way of doing this is by offering quality training opportunities. A prevalent method of retention and recruitment mentioned in the COBIS report was 'enhanced professional development' and a priority recommendation based on findings was to increase international training and development. Tes Institute and COBIS are working together to help deliver Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and development routes help to bridge the teacher supply gap. This new affiliation scheme includes courses such as our Straight to Teaching programme and offers a tailor-made development journey for your teaching assistants and unqualified teachers. At the end of the programme, they will be assessed for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) via our Assessment Only route once their teaching is deemed to meet the English Teachers’ Standards.
With only a third (32%) of leaders reporting they 'always' hire high-quality staff and even less (10%) stating they 'rarely or never' recruit the right teachers for the job, looking within a school or the wider school community to find the next teacher, and having a hand in their development, is becoming increasingly attractive to leaders. This is an issue that schools in the UK are already battling and something already highlighted in our previous findings of the challenges with teacher recruitment.
Programmes such as Straight to Teaching, Assessment Only and iPGCE challenge the status quo - rather than going through the lengthy task of advertising, interviewing and onboarding new hires, these programmes are designed to develop the talent you already have within your school. For example, our Assessment Only route can help your unqualified teachers and teaching assistants with significant existing teaching experience to gain QTS in as little as 12 weeks, helping you take back control of your recruitment with an end goal of gaining a high-quality teacher that already knows your pupils and school.
The QTS and iPGCE qualifications gained through these routes are internationally recognised too, both within the COBIS school network and in many schools that follow, or can be mapped to, the English national curriculum. This broad acceptance will help to improve career mobility within the international teacher market, which was a key factor highlighted in COBIS’ report by teachers who were frustrated by the lack of qualifications available internationally.
To support school leaders in this development journey and to celebrate the new partnership with COBIS and Tes Institute, we are offering a 5% discount on teacher development programmes including Straight to Teaching, Assessment Only and iPGCE to all COBIS members. More information on the collaboration and promotional offer can be found here.
The Full COBIS report and research can be seen here https://www.cobis.org.uk/about-us/research