British international schools ‘need 230,000 more teachers’

New research has shown that the British international school sector will need an additional 230,000 teachers in the next ten years in order to meet staffing requirements.

British international schools ‘need 230,000 more teachers’
The British curriculum is the success story in education exports. Demand for British schools and education has seen a boom in the numbers of British schools overseas in the past ten years and – as the UK government highlights education as an increased export target – schools following the British curriculum worldwide are only likely to increase in numbers over the coming years.

The growth of British schools overseas

British international schools make up over 45% of the international schools market with 4,300 British schools globally. It is a sector worth more than £1 billion and is one of the UK’s leading exports.With the international schools market continuing to grow (a report by the Council of British International Schools, 'Teacher Supply in British International Schools' showed that in the past 6 years the sector grew by 6% per annum) staffing is likely to become an issue in the coming years. 
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Research by international teaching providers, indicates that in order to sustain the predicted growth, British international schools will require an extra 230,000 more teachers to meet staffing needs.The education sector in the UK faces similar staffing challenges, with research by the Department for Education highlighting an overall shortfall of nearly 10% in recruitment targets to initial teacher training.

What attracts teachers to working overseas?

Why teachers choose to teach overseas
Teaching Abroad Direct analysed some of the results from the COBIS report. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a desire for ‘Travel and Cultural Exploration’ tops the list of reasons teachers choose to work in the international schools’ sector, at 71%. This is followed by the prospect of ‘Enjoyment and Challenge’ (63%.)However, disappointingly, a ‘Dissatisfaction with Home Education System’ is the third most prolific reason, with 47% of teachers agreeing so.Potential for ‘Career Growth’ (45%) and ‘Salary’ (44%) are other, prominent factors as to why teachers choose to work abroad.

Why might teachers leave the international schools’ sector?

‘Family Commitments’ (45%) and a desire to ‘Return Home’ (41%) topped the list of reasons.While 27% of teachers say ‘Career Prospects Elsewhere’ is the reason they would disband from teaching abroad.To ‘Improve Quality of Life’ (13%) and ‘High Living Expenses’ (9%) land in fourth and fifth place as to why teachers return to the UK from teaching abroad.Andrew Lynch, a senior consultant for Teaching Abroad Direct, comments, “The shortage of teachers around the globe is an urgent issue. At the root, we must do what we can to make teaching fulfilling. Of course, fulfilment differs from person to person but communication is key. We need to listen to teachers, both aspiring and experienced, learn what they need and deserve from their post and environment. Whether that is abroad or at home.”
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