June 2, 2023

Why UK schools need Australian and New Zealand supply teachers

Education in the UK is highly ranked on a global scale. It consistently ranks within the top 10 countries for education and second by the World Population Review in 2021. British state education is based on the belief that every child, regardless of their background, is entitled to a good education. 

Protocol Education have offices across the country, with countless vacancies to suit your time here. Whether you’re in a city like London or Manchester, the leafy home counties of Hertfordshire or Buckinghamshire, or living in a quiet quaint town or village in the Cotswolds, teaching here is a life-changing experience. 

Teaching in England improves your CV and builds your knowledge and skills. You’ll gain highly regarded experience. Teachers from Australia and New Zealand have the easiest transition to teaching in England due to similarities in curriculum and educational pedagogies. It’s one reason why English schools love antipodean supply teachers! 

What will you get out of supply teaching in England?

  • Enhance your teaching experience and focus on your own pedagogy

  • Learn from colleagues and make friends from the UK and beyond

  • Work with different cultures and communities

  • Gain knowledge about another curriculum and its content

  • Develop your classroom management strategies in different schools

  • Fast-track your teaching career with CPD opportunities.

Benefits of supply teaching in England

Supply teacher is the British term for a casual relief teacher. They work at a school for a day, week, term, or longer. You have the flexibility to choose when you work. Because there is less preparation and assessment to do in supply teaching jobs, your weekends and holidays are free. The myProtocol App enables you to update your availability so we find you work while you’re busy doing other things. 

What do supply teachers earn? 

UK teaching jobs offer a competitive salary (the sixth best for teachers worldwide) alongside opportunities for career progression. Rates vary according to experience, role, location, and school. Qualified teachers working through Protocol Education may earn a daily rate between £140 and £160. Teaching assistants, cover supervisors and unqualified roles can range from £80 to £100 per day. 

Professional development (CPD) 

Just because you’re a supply teacher in England for a limited time doesn’t mean your professional development is on hold. Protocol Education offers online and in-person training, as well as free webinars through ourEducator Series. We are partnered with New Skills Academy to provide courses to boost your skills, confidence, and employability. So, when you return home to teach, you’ll be fully equipped.  

Education in England

Schools in England follow the National Curriculum and are overseen by the UK Department for Education

  • Nursery/Reception (ages three to five) although it’s not compulsory for children under 5 to attend school.

  • Key Stage 1: Years 1 to 2 (ages five to seven)

  • Key Stage 2: Years 3 to 6 (ages seven to 11)

  • Key Stage 3: Years 7 to 9 (ages 11 to 14)

  • Key Stage 4: Years 10 to 11 (ages 14 to 16) students take GCSE exams in their final year.

It is compulsory for students to continue their education until age 18. And, as the government recently announced, maths is to be studied until age 18. If you teach maths, you may be in demand! 

What is teaching like in England?

The UK has a young teaching workforce with 60% of teachers under forty and 30% being 30 or younger.  

If you’re a qualified teacher in Australia or New Zealand, your qualifications are recognised. If you don’t have a teaching qualification, there are support or nursery roles.

In primary school, teachers teach all curriculum subjects. Secondary school teachers often teach their degree subject. 

Help fill the skills shortage

Last year, it was reported that secondary schools face a 6,000 trainee teacher shortfall. These recruitment challenges are documented in NFER research. Schools struggle to recruit for secondary school subjects, including English, maths, and science. With this skills shortage, these teachers are in demand to fill supply teaching vacancies.  

Schools in England

The academic year runs from September to July, when schools close for six weeks. The year is split into three terms, with a one or two-week half-term holiday in the middle of each. Each county will have slightly different term times, and private schools have longer holidays. With supply teaching, you can start at anytime in the year.

Like New Zealand and Australia, England has public and private schools, with great schools in every major town. Many English secondary schools are comprehensive schools, (comps) and take all children living locally regardless of ability. 

You may encounter: 

  • Middle schools are in some areas (such as Bedfordshire) for students aged nine and 13.

  • Grammar schools are selective, state-run secondary schools. Pupils pass an 11-plus exam to attend.

  • Independent schools are independently governed and financed, with no government funding. Funded by tuition fees, they do not have to teach the national curriculum.

  • Preparatory schools are for primary school-aged children who are preparing for entry into independent, fee-paying secondary schools. 

  • Special Educational Needs Schools (SEND) are for children whose needs cannot be met in mainstream schools. Many SEND pupils attend mainstream schools. 

  • Many schools fall under the term ‘academy’. They are state-funded but independent of local authorities. They can decide on their own curriculums, term dates, and hours. 

Find a teaching job in England with Protocol Education 

Each year, Protocol Education helps over 11,000 of the best supply staff from New Zealand and Australia work in England. As the recommended recruiter to 2500 schools, we will find you the right job. From casual supply to long-term placements. Whether you’re interested in primary, secondary, or SEND, we have a role for you, from teaching and teaching support to administration staff. 

No experience? No problem 

You do not need any prior school-based experience. We look for candidates with the right attitude and passion for education. Many of our schools look for teaching assistants (TAs) as well as teachers. You could support a mainstream class, be a mentor in a behavioural school, or be an assistant in a SEND school. 

English life

Life is not quite as laid-back as in down under but it’s not as different as you think. It’s one reason why the UK is home to over 120,000 Australians. A shared language, sense of humour, and relaxed culture make it easy to feel at home. 

If you’re in the UK, you’ve probably discovered the local pub, found a supermarket (no Woolies here), and experienced a rainy day in London. With England’s proximity to Europe and cheap flights, there’s a world of possibilities awaiting UK-based teachers every weekend and every half-term. Explore the historic streets of London or spend your weekends exploring the countryside. Pop to Prague on a cheap flight for a bank holiday, or book an all-inclusive break to a Greek island in August. Play as hard as you work with festivals, world-class art galleries, and theatre. Missing the surf or the beach? Cornwall has it all!

The country celebrates a summer’s day. Think impromptu picnics with flatmates or sitting in the pub garden with colleagues. Home is where the heart is. And home is only a flight away. With a six-week summer holiday, you can go back for winter.  

Feel at home while on the other side of the world

We know it can be daunting. That’s why we support our international teachers. We host regular social events for you to meet other teachers. At our induction sessions, you’ll meet the team and teachers who have moved to London. So, you can make friends when you arrive. 

Antipodean teaching professionals looking to springboard their careers will thrive here.Back home, your teaching CV will standout. You’ll have a repertoire of skills and life experience. And, if you decide to explore the world, your experience will open doors at British schools overseas. English curriculum experience is valued by hiring schools, especially in the Middle East and Asia. 

Give us a call to find out more.

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