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Meet with UK headteachers - Sian's Story


Sian is a year 4 teacher.  From Hong Kong, Sian has had many home bases including Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, China and now, Southend. She graduated with a Masters of Teaching from the University of Queensland in 2016 and began her career teaching in the UK. Her particular strengths in the classroom lie in the realm of socio-emotional development, drama and literacy. Outside of the classroom, Sian is an avid reader, traveller and photographer


How have you found it working for Protocol Education? How have they helped you to settle in?

"Working for Protocol has been absolutely excellent. From the moment I registered my interest in teaching overseas, they worked closely with me to find a job that best aligned to my needs and interests. Furthermore, they have made the transition to the UK exceptionally smooth. Sam Swain did a wonderful job guiding me in Australia and Matthew Hicks has done well to continue supporting me in the UK."

How useful was it to have senior leaders from the trust interviewing you in Australia?

"The ability to meet with leaders from the trust in a face-to-face capacity was largely a deciding factor in my decision to accept the job at Greenways, Southend. I liked the concept of a collaborative set of schools guided by similar principles and philosophies and, as a result, was eager to work within a Learning in Harmony Trust school."

Did you know anything about Southend beforehand?

"I knew nothing about Southend before my interview. However, upon speaking with Ashley, it sounded like an area that I would enjoy living and working in."

What are your first impressions of living and working in Southend?

"I am so appreciative that I have chosen to live in Southend. I particularly love my morning drive to work past the sunrise over the coast. Living costs are far cheaper than than in London and I’d say that the people are far friendlier!"

“We were blown away by the quality of the candidates interviewed... it was clear what an asset many would be in our schools.”

Ashley Eastwood - Principal at the Federation of Greenways Schools


How supportive have you found Greenways in your first half term?

"Greenways has gone above and beyond to ensure that my transition into a UK curriculum and school setting has been as smooth as possible. In terms of support, I have found the time given for knowledge transfer between the class’ previous teacher and myself absolutely crucial to my success in settling at Greenways. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to work alongside another teacher in the class whilst I find my feet!"

What would you say has been the most rewarding aspect of your journey so far?

"Career-wise, the most rewarding aspect of my journey has been seeing my students’ success in class and the ways in which they have positively responded to my (Australian!) teaching approaches. Personally, I have loved the opportunity to extensively travel and explore both the UK and wider Europe."

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about working as a teacher in Southend?

"I’d strongly suggest that you consider Southend as a future place of work. I love the character of the area and its proximity to London (an hour on the train!). Do a little of your research and look at areas in Southend that you may prefer to live and work in (Leigh-on-sea is lovely). I’d also recommend a bicycle or a scooter so that you’ve got a cheap and easy way to get around!"

What advice would you give to an Aussie teacher about preparing for the English curriculum?

"Although there are some differences, I feel that the Australian curriculum translates quite neatly into the English curriculum. Ask the school you’re moving to for any examples of units or topics of work that they have covered or will be covering."

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

"I think the different types of assessment strategies has been the thing that I really had to get my head around, but I just keep speaking to my Senior teacher and fellow teachers in my year level.  Personally, my largest challenge here has been adapting to the very different and diverse needs of my students. These diversities can sometimes manifest in an interesting range of classroom behaviours that I need to manage – I’m finding a strong focus on socio-emotional education helpful in doing this!"


Tara: 'Definitely go for it'

Recently qualified, Tara left Melbourne to take up a role teaching a reception class at Greenways in Southend with dreams of travelling.

Watch Tara's video >


Caitlin: 'Send that email'

Living in Sydney made it tricky to get the practical teaching experience she needed, so Caitlin headed to the UK to advance her career.

Watch Caitlin's video >


Chris: 'Take the plunge'

After attending a Protocol Education uni seminar Chris knew that he wanted to teach in the UK, so he swapped Hervey Bay for Southend.

Watch Chris' video >



Send us your details:


“Working with Protocol Education has been a fantastic experience. The staff are particularly helpful and always available to answer any query.”

Teagan – moved from Melbourne to Southend


Learn more about Protocol Education:


Guaranteed work agreements

Guaranteed Work Agreements provide certainty of earnings while you are working through us on supply assignments.

Read more >


Link Video Interviews

Interview with UK headteachers before you get on the plane, and find out firsthand what they and their school can offer you.

Read more >


Teach in England FAQs

Watch videos from our ongoing series answering some of the most common questions about moving to the UK to live and teach.

Read more >



“Protocol Education has been by far the stand out teaching agency in London for me. I now know why everyone tells you to seek them out if you’re thinking of teaching in the UK.”

Sam – PE teacher, Brisbane
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