We asked two Aussie teachers, Ash (Primary) and Angus (Secondary), to compare teaching in Oz to teaching in the UK and here’s what they had to say.
- How was your experience working as a teacher in Australia?
Ash: I worked as a CRT with anzuk in Australia before I moved over to London. As a graduate teacher, I wanted to get my teeth stuck into some teaching and save for my upcoming move to London. I was very impressed by the diverse range of schools I was sent to in those 4 months and how much work I was getting.
- When did you move to London and why?
Angus: It was a combination of limited opportunities in Adelaide, wanting a change, travel opportunities and having some friends that had already moved over here. My girlfriend and I had a choice to either move to Sydney, Melbourne, rural SA or London.
Ash: When I graduated from my teaching degree, the thought of applying for jobs locally didn’t really appeal to me. I had always wanted to experience living and teaching abroad, it was one of the main reasons I decided to study teaching. I had always had a thirst for travel and adventure and knew there were ample opportunities to teach in London. I did some CRT in Melbourne and made the move over as a fairly inexperienced teacher and never looked back!
- What differences between working in Australian schools and working in UK schools stand out for you the most?
Angus: The thing that stood out the most for me is the authoritative approach to education in the UK. For me, it seemed a little old-fashioned, but I was impressed in the respectful way that students spoke to teachers. I was also impressed with how strict, schools’ approaches are on mobile phones, which meant there were much fewer distractions in class. This was different to the schools I had taught in previously.
Ash: There is more of an emphasis and importance placed on sport and PE in Australian schools. There is generally an allocated PE teacher in Primary and Secondary schools and schools will take part in inter-school sports programs with other schools. Interschool sport is where upper Primary and Secondary students travel to other schools and play against them in various sports. This emphasis on PE often filters through to playing sport on weekends and evenings either representing their school or area that they live. Independent schools will have compulsory Saturday sport for both summer and winter seasons that all children need to participate in.
Australia also doesn’t have the same expectations in place when it comes to marking. There are assessments that are marked and data relevant to students development, but a lot of the feedback given is verbal. There are no marking policies in place at schools and it is often at the discretion of the teacher.
- What are some similarities?
Angus: English schools definitely have more in common with Australian schools than they don’t.
Ash: Whilst there are some differences between the two education systems, there are a lot more similarities. If you have been trained in the UK education system and your experience is in UK schools then you’ll probably find the Australian system to be a bit more relaxed than in the UK. You’ll have some really good habits in place that you will implement into your teaching in Australia and will find the transition to be an easy one to make.
- What advice would you give educators relocating overseas?
Angus: I think it is a great way for you to grow as an educator. It may seem a bit daunting to move across the other side of the world away from family and friends, but it will be so good for your professional development. The job opportunities in the UK are so good that you can afford to be patient until you find the school that is the right fit for you. The movement of teachers in the UK also means that there is plenty of opportunities to climb the ladder and gain experience in different roles. If behaviour of students in London schools is something that concerns you, remember that most schools have quite substantial behaviour management systems in place and there is always support available from other staff. At the end of the day, it is a great opportunity to gain experience teaching a different curriculum and will look great on your CV when you return to Australia, or wherever your next adventure takes you. Plus the travel opportunities to Europe… wow.
Ash: I recommend teaching abroad to any educator. There is no better way to expand your skill set as an educator and grow as person than living abroad. Taking the leap to teach overseas is a daunting one that not everyone is brave enough to do. Having that experience on your CV speaks volumes about you as an educator and individual. There are similarities and differences between both education settings and you will end up combining different aspects from the UK and Australian system to frame your teaching pedagogy.
If you are looking to teach overseas get in touch with one of our team members today!
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