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Where are the Teaching Opportunities in the United Kingdom?

The Opportunity that is Right for You

As a new graduate, or experienced educator, the search for your next teaching assignment should start with a review of the job market. There are vast opportunities for qualified teachers across the United Kingdom.  The job listings by position, and geographic locations for the availability of teacher jobs are just the mechanics of job search. The most important factor, however, is how well the goals you set for yourself as a professional educator, align with the current market.  Are your goals in reach relative to your current assignment?  Your personal goals for your career and life balance targets for work, fun and family time are also important factors. It takes a great plan to achieve a successful outcome and here the outcome is your next great teaching assignment.

Set Goals and Plan

Start your planning with a prioritized list of your career goals as an educator. What are the very important things you need from your next teaching assignment?  What are the next steps, the challenges or education experience goals have you set for yourself?  And is now the time to set out and reach for the next career milestone?   How will the search and eventual next opportunity impact your personal life? Is a relocation an option?  The salary, job conditions, opportunities for advancement are also important considerations and need to be on your list. Of course, these are all basic ideas around any profession, but certainly apply to your teaching career and next big move, as well.  Tough questions for both experienced and newly qualified teachers.  And if you are seeking your first teaching assignment, your goal may be to just land that first position. That’s an important target and the concept of having a detailed plan is very important. 

Add Focus on Your Specific Education Goals

As a professional educator your goals and opportunity search should include some reflective thought on why you became a teacher in the first place. As a teacher, you know you do more than just give instructions and grade tests. Teachers have a great impact on their students and are often in the role of mentor and confidant. Teachers can shape the futures of young adults and if your career goals are to truly help shape the next generation, then this should be a critical element in your next opportunity. Choose a UK teaching opportunity where you feel you can really make a difference. Or if you are moving to a new city or village for other reasons, make sure you stick to your goals as an educator. A good idea when planning for any career move, is to tap into your network of fellow educational professionals. Contact your mentor or trusted associates and get some advice on your goals and their thoughts on the teaching opportunities in the UK. 

Review your Qualifications

If you are seeking your first teaching assignment, it is important to review all the minimum qualifications. Specifics may vary depending on regional regulations. As an example, to teach in England and Wales, you are required to either your Bachelor of Education degree, or have attained QTS, (Qualified Teacher Status) designation, along with other background or skill requirements. These would include tested capability in mathematics, English and Science for higher grade levels, as wells as checks on health and criminal background.

As an experienced educator, make sure you can articulate how your experience and background can add value to a new educational institution and to the local community, as well. Make sure you are able to describe the outstanding progress your students have achieved over the years. Include your experience with the many extra-curricular activities: sports, class trips and other outside the classroom support that you have supported over the years.  If you have had an opportunity to work with SEN students, be sure to include those important results. With your qualifications in order, and your goals well defined, you can search for the UK teaching opportunity that is right for your career situation. And again, seek advice from fellow educational professionals. If you belong to the UK Teachers Union, there is an existing support base with resources to aide to connect your qualifications to the next great opportunity.

Types of UK Teaching Opportunities

The basic categories of teaching opportunities are aligned to the instruction level, either primary or secondary. The post-graduate training for the type of teaching level is quite different, and can to some extent limit your career path. It does not mean you can’t change paths, but additional training and a shift to a different education focus would be required. For those contemplating a career in teaching, the decision to pursue either type of post-graduate training is an important one, since the teaching opportunities available are for either primary or secondary instruction. Beyond the standard system of primary or secondary learning, there are teaching opportunities in other settings, such as colleges, special needs pupils, hospitals and young offender’s facilities.  There is a steady need for qualified English teachers outside the UK

It should be noted, that in addition to primary and secondary classroom positions, there are opportunities to advance into functions related to school management, such as becoming a head of an education department or the role of headteacher. These options, along with the example of an overseas teaching assignment, may be part of your career goals.  The vast majority of teaching opportunities are for the standard system of primary and secondary schools, and the scope of this article is the UK.

The Supply Teaching Opportunity

Supply teaching is a unique type of teaching opportunity.  You can apply your teaching skills for a very short duration, or for several weeks, in the event the permanent teacher is out sick or otherwise unavailable. The opportunity here is to be able to teach at many different schools, as you develop your career path. It is opportunity to see what works in different classrooms and schools, and expand your exposure to a variety of students and course material as well.  The supply teaching opportunity applies to the both of the basic types of primary and secondary systems. With supply teaching comes plenty of opportunity to hone your classroom behavior skills along with the flexibility to see what may be your next career option.

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