For Westerners, teaching jobs in England provide an exciting international opportunity with a lot of the comforts they’re used to. A lot of teachers choose to teach abroad in England for the ease of communication with their students, and the familiarity of Western media and entertainment doesn’t hurt either. England still provides plenty of foreign experience though, especially for those not accustomed to British lifestyle or lingo. You’ll have the chance to explore a different government structure, witness the fascination and national identity associated with a monarchy, and understand an entirely different history and heritage by teaching abroad in England.
England has it all, from small coastal towns to massive urban centers and countryside villages, each with its own unique populace. While England is known for its often gray weather, the result is lush green landscapes, the likes of which you probably haven’t seen much of. Remember that no matter where you end up teaching abroad in England, a new experience is always just a train-ride away.
London. A lot of the available teaching jobs in England will be based in London. From public to private schools, taught in English and even other languages, there are schools focusing on the arts, engineering, music, and more in London. London is full of places to shop, plays to see, and in the last 15 years, has drastically improved its culinary variety. You’ll find cuisine from all over the world, at various authentic restaurants in and around London, often run by foreign workers just like you. While the cost of living in London is high, you’ll get what you pay for in both atmosphere and activity.
Cambridge. You won’t be alone as an academic professional in Cambridge. To say the city is a center of education is an enormous understatement. Known for its superb caliber of academics and fertility for startups and established businesses, Cambridge has a strong economy to boot, making it an even more attractive place to live and teach abroad in England. Cambridge’s ancient center also offers endless exploration opportunities to expand your understanding of the country’s history. As a teacher at a public, or (more likely) private, institution in Cambridge, you will most definitely find plenty of ways to enjoy yourself.
Birmingham. Many university teaching jobs in England are specifically available in Birmingham. This northwest city is one of the country’s largest cities. It is home to striking historical architecture and the city’s infrastructure is characteristic of post-World War II cities that have undergone a full “revamp”. If you’re looking to blow off some steam after a long week, Birmingham delivers, with one of the liveliest bar and club scenes in the country.
Teaching Jobs in England
The British model of education is something many North American’s will be surprised by. British education is known to be intense, immersive, and dense, for both teachers and students. Teachers are expected to bring a lot of content to their lectures, which provide a majority of what students will learn throughout a course. Students in England are expected to rely more heavily on lectures for their learning and less on group projects and long papers. Two or three tests set the basis for students’ grades in most courses in England, not a cumulative average of numerous assignments spread out over a semester. This change of pace will be refreshing for international teachers and offer an exciting challenge.
Teaching jobs in England most often offer teachers the opportunity to teach math, science, and English (with opportunities to teach foreign ESL students). Some private schools offer bilingual instruction, meaning you and another teacher (who is fluent in another language) will tandem teach in both languages (usually French or Spanish). English educators as well as the United Kingdom’s government is making a big push to intensify exposure to math and science, hence, there are many teaching jobs in England in these subjects. Math teachers are most frequently needed in private secondary schools. Courses may range from geometry to calculus to statistics. Science teaching jobs in England tend to focus on the Earth sciences, such as geology and geography.
Regardless of what you end of teaching in England, you’ll be expected to have extensive knowledge of the subject, so be ready to demonstrate this, along with any relevant credentials, when applying.
The typical school year at public institutions in England spans about 190 days, spread across four to six terms, lasting from early September to late July. Students will usually have a break in between each term. When it comes to teaching in England at private schools or universities, schedules will be a little different from institution to institution. However, teachers can expect to have at least a couple of weeks off around Christmas time and the turn of the calendar year.
Salaries & Costs
Most international teaching jobs in England are paid. Americans will note teachers in the United Kingdom are often paid better than those in the United States. Starting teaching jobs in England come with salaries ranging from £22,000 or $31,000 a year, and teachers with more experience or qualifications who obtain higher level teaching jobs may even receive £53,000 or $81,000 a year. Depending on where you decide to teach in England, teaching salaries will be plenty or just enough to live on.
To give you an idea of the cost of living in England, here are some figures:
- A coke costs about $1.72 or £1.12.
- A gallon of milk costs $5.31 or £3.46.
- A gallon of gas is close to $6.83 or about £4.45.
- A month’s rent ranges from about $860 or £560, in the country or city outskirts, to $1,011 or £659 in major cities.
Many teaching jobs in England will supply teachers with financial support outside of annual salaries, such as in the form of a roundtrip flight home once a year or a housing stipend.
Accommodation & Visas
The accommodations available to you will depend entirely upon where you decide to teach abroad in England. If you take a more structured route through a teaching placement agency, in which you pay for placement services and receive a paid teaching job in return, your housing is likely to be included. However, salaried teachers that work directly with schools to arrangement employment are more likely to be on their own when it comes to finding housing.
No matter where you teach in England, be prepared to live in a small space. England is not known for giant apartments (or “flats”), or cheap costs of living for that matter. You should plan to condense your belongings and only bring what you really need, otherwise you may end up with quite the cluttered flat.
Most individuals that plan to teach abroad in England will need to obtain a visa. The type of visa required depends on the type of teaching job you obtain and how long you plan to stay. Your employer or placement provider should be able to help you determine which visa is appropriate for your specific arrangement.
Benefits & Challenges
Communication. One of the greatest advantages of teaching abroad in England is the vast scope of issues you’ll be able to discuss in the classroom and the ease of communication you will have. There are a number of topics you can discuss with students, whether you are teaching science, math, or arts, which will help expand their learning and yours.
Historical Exploration. No matter what you decide to teach in England, you will have access to and the opportunity to delve into a great deal of history. People have inhabited England a lot longer than much of the Western hemisphere, and development has existed longer as a result. This means every subject, from science to english to math, will have a more storied history in England.
Teaching Style. The style of teaching in England will prove a challenge in and of itself. Teachers will be expected to deliver content heavily in their lectures or classroom sessions, and less-so through projects, group discussions, or student presentations. You will be tasked as one of the only providers of information, which is both a blessing and a curse, and will no doubt be a challenge.