Private School Teacher Shortfall In The UAE

Private School Teacher Shortfall In The UAE
By C Hoppe
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Teaching positions in the UAE are increasing and supply simply can not keep up with demand according to a report in UAE newspaper Gulf News.

The report cites Neil Ollier, Director of Business Development for a teacher recruitment company, who said: “In countries like the UAE and Qatar the number of international teaching posts is increasing [year on year] by 10 to 15 per cent.”

Ollier, who was speaking at the International and Private Schools Education Forum, said there were several factors which exacerbate current supply issues for teachers of an England and Wales based curriculum.

While the increase in international schools, and specifically British curriculum schools has led to demand outstripping supply, he went on to note that the new UAE law which requires teachers have a minimum of two years experience after qualifying is causing difficulties for many schools.

British teachers not holding a bachelor degree or not teaching subjects they studied is another restriction. Ollier said "28 per cent of primary teachers in the UK do not have a bachelor’s degree and 30 per cent of maths and physics teachers don’t have related degrees."

He also suggested work visa complications for those over 60 are adding to the shortfall.

“Twenty-two per cent of teachers in the UK are above 55 years old, in New Zealand it is 21 per cent and in the US it is 16 per cent". He suggested schools look further afield to fulfill their staffing requirements, noting New Zealand and Australia could supply alternative teachers should schools not find those they need in the UK.

Ollier also encouraged schools to place more emphasis on retaining the teachers they employ, suggesting that schools should improve their pre-arrival communication, expand current orientation information and put in place systems for detecting problems promptly.


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