The Positives of Recruiting Overseas Maths and Physics Teachers

It’s no great secret that the UK finds itself in an ongoing teacher recruitment crisis; so much so that the Department for Education (DfE) are stepping in to assist. The DfE have set up a framework of providers to recruit high quality maths and science teachers from the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Qualified teachers from these countries are sourced by providers, go through background screening and can apply for qualified teacher status directly, as their qualifications have similarities to the UK. 

The framework is divided into “networks” which team up a specialist private sector education recruiter with a teaching school. Each “network” provides a high quality CPD week for candidates on arrival which is aimed at preparing them for the UK maths or science (specifically Physics) curriculum.

Haven’t we seen international recruitment before?

International recruitment in schools is nothing new; many UK recruitment companies have been doing it for years with very mixed results. Some schools have benefitted hugely, while others have found it to be a nightmare!

So, why is this any different? 

The involvement of the DfE ensures that the recruitment and continuous professional development (CPD) provided to candidates are of a high standard. The private sector education recruiters have gone through a very rigorous competitive process, as did the Teaching School Alliances and CPD providers involved. All the material for the CPD week is being verified and checked by the DfE also, so you can be rest assured that the service provided is of the highest quality.  

The DfE is providing funding for the CPD element and provides £4,000 towards the recruitment fee for hiring schools, making the cost of recruiting internationally considerably reduced.

What is the experience of schools so far?

The feedback from schools has been largely positive:

Helen, Deputy Head at Oriel High School in Sussex, said: “The quality of candidates we have been presented with has been outstanding...candidates that they genuinely think will be a good match for us...”

John, Head Teacher at The Beaconsfield School in Buckinghamshire, has the following feedback: “The process we followed from first contact to the member of staff starting at school was first class. The verbal feedback we received regarding the candidate was accurate and certainly helped us with our selection process.”

Schools are finding it to be a positive experience so far, but how about the actual teachers that are coming over, how are they finding the experience of being part of this project? 

Christie, a Maths Teacher from Virginia, USA who is teaching at Oriel High in Sussex has been impressed with how well she has settled into a UK classroom and the staff room; “The other staff members and I all seem to be on the same wavelength and share common ideas around education and society in general, which is really refreshing. I look forward to seeing them every day.” 

Retaining international teachers has often been a major concern for schools in the UK due to people being away from their home country; here is Christie’s take on it: “This is a great way to take a step and try something new, but feel supported along the way, which makes everything a lot less scary.” 

Christie is not the only one who feels positive about coming to England as part of the project; Kayleigh is also a US trained Maths Teacher who is working at a school in Buckinghamshire, here is her view on making the transition: “The support and help they offer makes the entire process seamless and much easier than I anticipated when I first looked at teaching in England.” 

So, the schools and the teachers involved in this project are both seeing real benefits. Perhaps your school could also see a real benefit from hiring an international maths or science teacher? To find out more information get in contact with your local network.

Steve Dixon, a former teacher, is Regional Manager at Quantum Scholars and has been recruiting for school for the last 10 years.

If you are looking at alternative ways to resource your team, have you considered appointing an apprentice? Here’s a quick guide on how you can use the Apprenticeship Levy to recruit new staff.

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