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Working in England - SEND intervention role

25/05/17

Hannah is an Australian PE & Maths teacher who arrived to teach in the UK in early 2017. Although she’s in high demand as a secondary teacher, Hannah chose to work in a different role with Protocol in the UK.

Here is her advice for overseas teachers making the move to travel & teach in London

What made you decide to teach in England?
I had always wanted to travel around Europe but never had the opportunity. I used to plan all of these amazing trips down to the smallest detail but they never eventuated because something always got in the way, whether it was money, or work, or other commitments.
I had been working in a school that I love but I knew that the position I had been teaching in was going to be advertised and it was very unlikely that I would get it as I was the most unexperienced person in the staffroom. I was suddenly faced with the prospect of having to find a job at a new school and thought 'hey why not make it a whole new country'. I had nothing stopping me. I started researching online and never looked back.

Why did you choose Protocol Education as your agency?
I had heard good things from a couple of friends that had done made the move to London. I went along to an information evening and I was sold.

How did you find the process of registering in Australia?
The most stressful part was the visa application, however Mitch was super helpful, even answering my questions while he was away on holidays in Bali! I don’t think I would have made it this far if it wasn’t for all his help. Getting the rest of the documentation together is easy enough if you are organised and proactive....unlike me. Thankfully my jet lag had me wide awake at all hours of the morning so I managed to get my CV finished only hours before my induction meeting in the London office (which I don’t recommend to anyone).

Any travels tips or advice to teachers planning to making the move?
Don’t over pack. I spent hours stressing over how I could possibly squeeze my whole life into 32kgs and now I wish I had only packed half of what I did. The shops here are much better and generally cheaper that Aus and anything that you leave behind you can find here... so stress less.
And SAVE SAVE SAVE!! London isn’t cheap... but it's totally worth it.

You’re teaching in a special needs (SEND) ‘Intervention’ role now. How does that differ from a mainstream class?
I was quite lucky and landed a job as a 'tutorial support teacher'. Basically I work 1-on-1 with students who are unable to attend school for various reasons but usually because they are quite ill or have been excluded and are waiting to be accepted into another school (which is usually quite a lengthy process).
It’s completely different from teaching in a mainstream class as I only have 1 student to focus on. Even the more challenging students are so much easier to handle once the audience has been removed and you generally see an improvement in their attitude, behaviour and academics because you can spend the time really getting to the core of the problem. It’s very rewarding.

Would you recommend people try one of these ‘intervention’ roles? Why?
Absolutely give it a go! I feel like I have landed the dream working holiday job. I keep waiting for the kicker, but so far there isn't one. There is very little preparation to do at home (if any) and that includes not having to mark assessment tasks or write reports on your weekends or during the holidays when you would rather be exploring.
I think the biggest plus is that there’s very little stress involved. I remember having specific classes that I absolutely dreaded all week (especially year 7 on a Friday afternoon). I was forever watching the clock, wishing that time would go faster and that the final bell would just hurry up and ring. In this position I no longer watch the clock, nor do I dread my students (or Friday afternoons for that matter). I enjoy coming to work and making real progress with students that need and appreciate my help.

Tell us 3 things you enjoy most about living in England?
There’s so many things to love about England but if I had to narrow it down to 3 I would say...
1. Travel is unbelievably cheap. It still blows my mind that I can just jump on the overnight bus and before I know it I’m in Brussels for £8 return or £30 can get you a return flight to Milan.
2. Travel.
3. Did I mention how cheap travel is?


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