Wanted: An extra 400,000 English speaking teachers

Number of teaching jobs in English-speaking international schools set to increase by 80 per cent in next decade to 916,000 due to parental demand for English language education

growth in international schools

The number of English-speaking international schools around the world will increase by two-thirds by 2029 - prompting an 80 per cent rise in teaching jobs, according to a new report.

The Global Opportunities Report, produced by ISC Research, forecasts that the number of such schools will increase from 10,293 at present to 17,368 in ten-years’ time, and that the number of corresponding teaching posts will rise from 506,900 at present to 916,900.

The report highlights how English-speaking international schools have already experienced ‘phenomenal growth’ due to huge demand from parents in non-English speaking countries, particularly in Asia, for an education in English which will prepare their children for university overseas.


Exclusive: Record number of independent schools expand overseas

Insight: Could overseas training help England's teacher recruitment crisis?

Quick readNew requirement for international school teacher background checks


An ISC spokesperson said the top end of the market was currently dominated by British schools. She said: “US and Australian independent schools have been slow to expand globally but there is evidence that engagement in market potential and overseas development is now increasing.

“Demand for international education is particularly high in Asia where it has become an aspiration for a large number of wealthier families.”

Countries that offer the greatest potential for British schooling overseas were revealed last month by UK government advisor Vipul Bhargava.

According to today's research, several countries are expected to see significant new international school development in the near future. These include:

  • Saudi Arabia, where education is an emerging sector for foreign investment.
  • Qatar, which is likely to attract new international school development in the coming years stimulated by its National Vision for 2030.
  • Malaysia, where several areas are experiencing industrial and residential growth and which are currently limited in international school provision.
  • Vietnam, which, as a result of legislation change which means the enrolment cap for local students at international schools has been increased.
  • Japan, where new immigration laws and market confidence are encouraging an influx of expatriates.

The forecast in the number of teaching jobs being created follows Tes research last year, which found that England needs 47,000 more secondary teachers by 2024 to cope with an explosion in the number of secondary school pupils.

And John Howson, visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University, said recruitment by international schools could worsen teacher shortages domestically if proposals went ahead allowing them to award qualified teacher status (QTS).

The new report, which is intended to inform schools, suppliers, universities and investors of the current state of the world’s international schools sector, uses analyses of market trends by key regions, sub-regions and countries.

It predicts that east Asia will almost double its number of international school places in the next ten years from 600,900 this year to 1,225,000 in 2029.

By 2029, South-East Asia is projected to reach 851,000 students attending international schools, compared to 492,300 this year, and the number of students in western Asia is expected to rise to 2.5 million from 1,597,200 today.

More information is available on the ISC Research website.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you