Exclusive: UK recruitment fears as number of teachers in English-speaking international schools set to double

Demand for an English-speaking education across the globe means more UK teachers will be tempted overseas

The number of teachers needed to work in English-speaking international schools across the globe will double in the next decade, experts have said, prompting new fears over UK teacher recruitment.

The boom in English-speaking international schools means more and more are offering experienced British teachers free education for their children in a bid to tempt them away from the UK.

And TES understands that British universities are considering introducing “international elements” to teacher training courses as the demand for a more global outlook grows among their students.

New projections suggest that the number of teachers needed in international schools teaching in English or offering an English-medium curriculum will balloon from 402,000 to 800,000 teachers by 2026 – and many of them are expected to come from Britain.

The International School Consultancy (ISC) data also predicts that the number of international schools will grow from more than 8,000 now to 16,000 in the same timeframe.

‘Teachers’ desire to work abroad’

Richard Gaskell, the ISC’s director for international schools, warned that the shift could pose problems for UK teacher recruitment.

“The demand for British teachers by international schools, and the desire of many British teachers to work internationally, is both a challenge and an opportunity for UK education,” he said.

Andrew Wigford, director of Teachers International Consultancy, said some teachers chose to go abroad because they were “sick of the system as it is” in England.

The news comes just months after Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw warned of a “teacher brain drain” of staff who were leaving the country in order to work in the foreign branches of elite independent schools.

This is an edited article from the 17 June edition of TES. Subscribers can read the full article here. This week’s TES magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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