International schools are changing!

Wherever they operate in the world, international schools have adapted to changes in their physical, social, and economic environment. They have also reacted to local market demand as the need for on-the-ground expatriate workers has declined in many countries. International schools are dynamic institutions that have catered over the years to a variety of clientele, but the constant is always providing high-quality education.

What’s shaping the work environment?

ISC Research provides some of the most comprehensive and current data on international schools around the world. They report on recruiting trends and focus on recent changes to international schools. 

Trends in international schools, FYI

  • Between 70-80% of international schools offer a two-year initial contract to teaching staff.
  • 60-75% of international schools rely on a recruitment agency for all or part of their recruitment.
  • Local staff numbers have been increasing in many international schools, especially in Southern Asia.
  • trends international schools Search Associates ANZ a digital image with a trend key replacing the enter key on a keyboardMore international schools are beginning their recruitment process earlier in the school year to attract and secure top talent from within the international school sector.
  • International schools are requiring earlier notice periods in order to release jobs as early as possible – notice is now typically required between November and January
  • More international schools are offering incentives for contract extensions or early resignation.
  • There is a current trend of international schools hiring international school teachers already located in the country due to the continuing impact of COVID-19 on entry and exit of expatriates, as well as the benefits of country-specific teaching experience, and cost savings related to relocation.
  • Some international schools are recruiting for a physical campus, but hiring some staff with the intention of them working remotely.
  • Some schools have strict vaccination requirements with a significant number requiring full vaccination for all staff.
  • Some roles are being eliminated as a contract ends due to the current decrease of students in some schools.
  • Virtual job fairs and online interviews are now common practices for most international schools.
  • International schools are increasingly looking beyond traditional source countries for expatriate teachers.
  • Some countries are implementing programs to convert skilled workers into international teachers through pilot schemes
  • International schools are placing a greater focus on the specific skills of new hires, in particular, the skills of using technology to support learning and the skills associated with delivering blended learning.
  • International schools are seeking more leaders with business management, crisis management, and data management skills. DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION AND WELLBEING IN RECRUITMENT: A growing number of good international schools are taking a more global view of recruitment, recognising that hiring teachers based on nationality or native language is not acceptable.
  • International schools that have built a reputation for staff well-being, particularly throughout COVID-19, are increasingly in demand by candidates.

Continuing professional development

trends international schools Search Associates ANZ digital image highlighting various skills

  • 48% of schools researched said a Master’s degree or Ph.D. was the most popular qualification that staff worked towards.
  • Online CPD has increased dramatically in the international school sector prompted by the impact of COVID-19.
  • CPD supporting EAL is expected to increase in demand in the near future for several reasons.
  • 66% of international schools said they plan to develop the skills of their current teaching staff in the use of education technology to support teaching and learning over the next two years
  • 35% plan to develop cultural understanding of their staff to support teaching and learning.

If you would like to listen to more on this subject check out the podcast: Recruitment and staff development in international schools

The international school sector is undergoing significant changes.  As they continue to evolve, these trends provide valuable insights into the changing dynamics and strategies. The Search Associates database has the most up-to-date school information in an ever-changing global landscape.

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