30 December 2005

Teaching Abroad

I guess America isn't the only country facing problems with managing an educational system. Scotland is also looking at a problem with their teaching force. One problem is that there will be more retirees than students by 2009. Demographics also suggest that the number of students will decline. Scotland, like other industrialized nations, is experiencing a negative population growth trend. People just don't have the large families that they used to have. However, there was a resolution passed in 2003 to have 53,000 teachers for Scotland. Lawmakers are now wondering if that was a fiscal mistake. Might more money be needed for the other end of the age curve?

And where will all these teachers come from? They're already been recruited from all over the world. Matthew MacIver, chief executive for the Greater Counci of Scotland, was quoted as saying "We are very pleased indeed. We have worked very hard to process these applications from other parts of the world and I am sure that they will add to the quality of teaching in Scotland. We have a good education system, we have a good reputation, a high standard of teaching in schools and the McCrone agreement has helped as well. We are also an attractive country for teachers because they recognise that we place great importance in education."

According to http://www.teachinginscotland.com/, starting salary is around $33,500 and goes up to $53,350 based on years of experience. If I were a newbie teacher, this might be a very intriguing proposition. Couple a substantially larger starting salary with getting it tax-free (from US taxes) and a few years in Scotland might be a good way to get started in this nutty career.

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