Your move: Volunteer work

8th April 2005 at 01:00
Get thinking about your future career

Do you want your next class to be the one that doesn't want to know, or those who have walked miles for the chance of an education?

If you're feeling jaded and fancy combining travel with a challenge, volunteering overseas could be an answer. Those in demand are maths, science, English language and primary teachers, but FE lecturers with a trade are welcome, especially plumbers, health specialists, electricians, mechanics and engineers.

You need not give up your job either - negotiate a release with your school, at no cost, and they'll gain a more rounded, satisfied member of staff in return.

Voluntary Service Overseas provides a pack that helps you persuade your employer of the benefits of a sabbatical. If you have a mortgage, many lenders will consider a one-year mortgage holiday.

According to VSO, there are about 115 million primary aged children not in school, and a third of those who are, don't finish the five years necessary for basic literacy.

Volunteering with VSO is seen as a CPD opportunity by unions, and the DfES is encouraging primary teachers to take up placements. VSO provides a financial package, including local salary and assistance on return.

Non-profit organisation i-to-i provides TEFL courses for which you could earn money. For the fee, you get training, 247 health and emergency back-up, in-country support team and repatriation in an emergency. Other opportunities range from caring for underprivileged children to protecting endangered species. Geared to the independent traveller, these last from one to 12 weeks, or more.

Also check out Christian Aid and Oxfam.

Useful websites

Andy Stanley

Next month: Teaching in a prison

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now