Teaching abroad: does it affect me when applying for NQT jobs in the UK?

With the job market for teachers in the UK becoming increasingly competitive, more and more NQTs are making the move overseas to supplement their teaching experience and bolster their CVs. Teaching abroad is a big step, but worthy personal and financial rewards can be attained by NQTs willing to put in the hard work.

Making The Move
NQTs wanting to experience teaching abroad are in an advantageous position; there is a high demand for English speaking teachers in both European and Asian countries, as well as New Zealand and Australia where the job market is less saturated. Foreign schools will recognise UK qualifications, however it is important to state clearly on your application what your qualifications and capabilities are.

As a short-term prospect, teaching abroad can offer an NQT valuable experience teaching a variety of pupils while immersing themselves in another culture. Many NQTs assume that coming back to the UK in search of NQT teaching jobs will be an easy move after working abroad. However, it is not necessarily that simple…
Keeping Up To Date
Teachers working in another country are often under the illusion that, on their return, UK schools will be welcoming them back with open arms. Of course the experience of working overseas will enhance any teacher’s CV, but many schools will be concerned by a break from the UK education system. Changes within UK education happen extremely quickly, with new initiatives coming in every month.

Schools worry that teachers will struggle after their return to the UK, as the rapidly moving system means that NQTs won’t be able to pick up where they left off. Despite this, many international schools will follow or base their teaching on the UK curriculum. So it is occasionally possible to keep up to date with UK changes while abroad.

Securing A Job On Return
Finding a UK job while working overseas can be difficult for NQTs. Of course, candidates can follow possible job opportunities online, but the majority of schools will dismiss applications from NQTs that aren’t currently in the UK. Some schools might offer an initial interview via Skype, but statutory guidance states that face-to-face interviewing is mandatory in England and Wales for safeguarding.

Many teachers might not want to return to the UK until they have found their next teaching post, but it’s very unlikely that a job will be secured while still abroad.

Teaching abroad can be an incredibly rewarding and exciting time for any teacher, but if this is something you’re considering, ask yourself these the below questions first:

– Will the UK job market have improved by the time I return?

– Will I be able to keep up to date with any changes in UK education?

– Am I qualified to teach abroad?

NQT jobs abroad can offer a useful insight into different teaching methods from around the world and careful consideration will highlight whether the move is for you, or not.