More teachers move overseas for higher salaries

Eight in 10 international school leaders find recruiting teachers a challenge, according to research

Catherine Lough

Why teaching in international schools is a small world

The proportion of teachers leaving to teach internationally for a better salary has risen by 5 percentage points since 2018, a new survey of international teaching reveals.

In a survey by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) of over 1,100 teachers and school leaders, 49 per cent of teachers said "salary" was their motivation for working abroad, compared with 44 per cent in 2018. 

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COBIS also found that the biggest motivation for teachers to work internationally was the opportunity for travel and cultural exploration, with 72 per cent reporting this as their reason for leaving to teach abroad, followed by "enjoyment and challenge" (62 per cent).

The recruitment challenge for international schools

And 42 per cent of teachers left to teach abroad because of "dissatisfaction" with their home education system – down from 47 per cent in 2018.

International schools also reported difficulties in recruiting staff – 88 per cent of international school leaders said they found recruiting quality teachers "somewhat" or "very challenging", although this was down from 94 per cent in 2018.

The report suggests that emphasising how teaching is a "global" profession could help to stem the recruitment crisis.

"Positioning teaching as a global profession would enrich the professional experience of teachers, allow UK schools to benefit from the repatriation of skills developed in an international context, improve teacher retention, and enhance the attractiveness of the profession to increase recruitment to initial teacher training," it says. 


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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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