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Take your teaching career further in London: Tips for Irish expats

17/01/2019

The Irish education system is presenting interesting challenges for local teachers. With falling primary pupil numbers projected over the coming six years, fewer teachers will be required and vacant roles could become increasingly competitive. As pay levels, job stability and the housing market continue to see Irish teachers looking elsewhere for work, the bright lights and big opportunities of London may be more appealing than ever.

For decades, teachers from around the world have flocked to London to not only experience all that the big city has to offer, but also to upskill and further their careers. If you’re considering making the move, you’re in good company: With 11,400 Irish emigrants heading to Britain in the year to April 2018, it’s the most popular destination for those moving from Éire. Here’s everything you need to know to take your teaching career further in London:

Teaching opportunities abound

Whether you’re an early years, primary, secondary or SEN teacher, there’s an opportunity to suit you in London’s 32 boroughs and more than 3,000 schools. The capital city has seen record levels of employment in recent times, with a buoyant economy that is proving attractive to teachers - and other professionals - the world over. And while Irish pupil numbers are dropping, England is seeing a boom in the student population, with nearly 50,000 more secondary teachers required to cope with the incoming influx of pupils.

London has big ambitions when it comes to its education system, and as the city continues to develop its innovation, culture and economic activities, we can expect to see the city fulfil its goal of boasting world-class schools where pupils thrive. Currently, nearly all schools in London are high performing, with 57% of London pupils meeting or exceeding the new expected standard in reading, writing and maths by the end of KS2, compared to the national average of 52%.

And with nearly 49% of primary and 57% of secondary head teachers in London aged 50 or older, we will likely see more opportunities for head teachers in the future. For Irish teachers with ambitions to grow their career, this demographic shift could be very lucrative indeed.

Feel at home

For Irish teachers accustomed to working in Catholic schools, we can help to make the transition to London work even easier. Teaching Personnel’s Catholic Schools Recruitment Partnership offers teaching staff a wide variety of job opportunities in Catholic schools across England, plus a CPD Academy featuring professional development partnerships with Catholic universities and training schools. Irish teachers can gain a wider London experience of teaching within the Catholic ethos, with schools in the partnership providing a welcoming, friendly and supportive atmosphere. If you’re an Irish teacher looking to expand your skillset in one of London’s Catholic schools, this could be the perfect fit for you.

Getting settled

Though it’s just a short flight from home, London can feel a world away at times, thanks largely to its sheer size and scale. Densely populated, the capital may be overwhelming at first, but its sophisticated infrastructure, diverse inhabitants and breadth of leisure activities on offer ensure it’s a very liveable city with lots to offer. With more than 200 museums – many of which are free – world-class art galleries, major musicians touring every day and West End musicals on offer at virtually any time you can think of, there’s plenty of arts and culture to keep you occupied. Add in international sporting fixtures, pubs on every corner and easy accessibility to some of the world’s most desirable holiday destinations and you’ve got a home base that many people around the world can only dream of.

In addition, many teachers in London find the city’s public transport network more than adequate for their daily travel needs, so you can leave your car at home. Healthcare is free to London citizens through the NHS, and while you can start working immediately, you should apply for a National Insurance number as soon as possible.

In order to teach in the UK, you’ll need to gain QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). Generally, all officially recognised Irish teaching qualifications are recognised in the UK, so QTS is a simple form-filling process for Irish teachers moving to London. EEA applicants should allow four months for their QTS to be processed. More information can be found here.

Make your move

With an abundance of jobs, an easy transition to British teaching and leisure opportunities on your doorstep, London is the perfect place for Irish teachers to drive their career forward. At Teaching Personnel, we have thousands of teaching jobs waiting for the right candidate. Make the move to one of the world’s greatest cities today.

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