In a report released in 2018, COBIS relayed that “teacher recruitment poses a challenge,” and set out recommendations for both the sector and government to aim for and redress the balance.
“We are pleased to announce these new partnerships to signpost high-quality ITT opportunities”
It found that the international schools sector could benefit the wider education sector by attracting good teachers, offering them an enriching professional experience abroad, and encouraging them to stay in education.
About a third of the teachers surveyed were thinking of leaving the profession before entering the international school sector – 71% leave the international sector within 10 years, many returning to the UK with a positive international experience.
To help address some of the challenges, at its 38th annual conference COBIS announced the new partnerships with ITT providers to support schools with training teachers in an international context with recognised UK qualifications.
The partners were named as the University of Buckingham; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Sunderland; Tes Institute and training and consultancy service providers Educational Success Partners.
“As part of recent COBIS research on Teacher Supply in British International Schools…one of the key recommendations was to increase international training opportunities – specifically around Initial Teacher Training,” explained COBIS chairman, Trevor Rowell.
COBIS CEO Colin Bell added: “There is clearly an appetite for flexible teacher training routes in an international context, and an increasing number of UK-based training providers are offering or developing international ITT programs including PGCE, iPGCE, Assessment-Only QTS, and other tailored courses.
“We are pleased to announce these new partnerships to signpost high-quality Initial Teacher Training opportunities for international schools as well as working with providers to support them to scale up their overseas provision.”
At its 2019 conference, COBIS also announced the first round of COBIS Training Schools – 11 schools in Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and the Americas that will be working alongside COBIS to deliver ITT to grow the global teacher workforce.
The schools will act as regional hubs for hosting professional development, enabling regional professional learning networks, and sharing and modelling best practice.
COBIS Board director and chair of the COBIS Teacher Supply Committee Deborah Eyre explained that research has shown that international experience supports retention and that many teachers move in both directions between the UK and international school sectors.
“Teachers who work overseas gain valuable transferrable skills”
“Teaching is a global profession…teachers who work overseas gain valuable transferrable skills, in part from the high quality of professional development opportunities,” said Eyre.
“COBIS Training Schools will play a key role in extending the impact of the tremendous professional learning opportunities in schools, and supporting the COBIS ambition to see international schools engaging with ITT on a greater scale in order to make a positive contribution to the growth of the global teacher workforce.”