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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
I have just joined the forum and am unsure whether I have posted my question in the right place. My Husband has been teaching in primary schools in England for the past 10 years, he has taken on several responsibilities and had some deputy experience building his salary up to £39,000 per year. We are considering starting a new life in France with our 3 young children. How do teaching primary sector salaries compare in France and is the job security for teachers with management responsibilites as good?Can anyone give us their view on the pros and cons of teaching in France as opposed to the UK? My husband is increasingly demoralised by how the targets, paperwork and behavoiur management pressures are leaving little time for creative teaching in the UK. We need a change of lifestyle. We wouldn't be able to afford to live in the most expensive areas, our house is worth £175,00 and we dont want to increase our mortgage. Our dream is to live somewhere safe for our children with a garden with enough space to grow our own vege/keep chickens and lead a basic family orientated lifestyle. Are we being realistic?, any views on the best suited locations? So many questions, I know, but I don't know where to start.
 

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Hi,
I am a native French teacher living in Paris.
Teaching in a public primary school requires a specific 2-year degree which you can only pass if you have fluent French.
However, some English-speaking private schools do hire people with other degrees. I do not know what your level in French is, but I think (from experience and from working with expats) that finding a job in France is difficult if you do not speak any French, even if the language spoken at work is English.
I know that some schools also hire English speakers to teach English to primary school children.
You could also consider teaching English to adults. I know that English teachers in this field are currently sought.
I do not know much about the wages, though.
As for accomodation, you will find houses with garden at reasonable prices everywhere except Paris, especially around smaller towns such as Tours, Angers, Rennes for example.
Hope that helps a little.
:)
 

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To add a little bit, too, to what AnneIsabelle has said: teaching in the public schools in France is a sort of civil service job and can be very difficult for non-French nationals to break into. The system is highly centralized, to the extent that you don't necessarily get to choose where you will teach - and the waiting lists for transfers are long, especially to desirable areas.

The teaching sector in France is constantly being reorganized, and there are threats of cutting the numbers of teachers or of giving the schools or school districts more autonomy, which inevitably brings the teachers out into the streets in protest. I would think it would be very difficult to break into teaching as a foreigner at an "advanced" stage in ones career.

I have heard of the public schools sometimes hiring native English speakers to assist with "learn English" programs in the lower grades, however I have also heard that this type of pick-up teacher is usually paid about half what a French-trained civil service teacher receives for the same duty. This was a few years back and perhaps the situation has changed by now, but there is a sharp distinction between "real teachers" and those who just "assist" in a particular class or function.

Try checking the private schools, especially those teaching to a British curriculum (where your husband would have an advantage for being familiar with the curriculum). Salaries would vary by school.

Teaching English is an option, though salaries tend to be low. You should have a TEFL or TESOL qualification - otherwise you're competing with all the native English speakers living in or just traveling through France who don't have any other way to earn a living and who are basically working on the sly for pocket money.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the information AnneIssabelle and Bev. Our 5 year old son has high functioning autism and over the last few days we have read articles which strongly suggest that French schools would not give the same level of recognition or support or even toleration to his disability, so at this stage we are thinking that France may not be the place for us, perhaps we should investigate Spain. One of the advantages of the UK to us is that there is a big movement towards Autism awareness and the support is pretty good. I would however be interested if you think this is an unfair view of French schools.

Phoebe
 

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Thanks for the information AnneIssabelle and Bev. Our 5 year old son has high functioning autism and over the last few days we have read articles which strongly suggest that French schools would not give the same level of recognition or support or even toleration to his disability, so at this stage we are thinking that France may not be the place for us, perhaps we should investigate Spain. One of the advantages of the UK to us is that there is a big movement towards Autism awareness and the support is pretty good. I would however be interested if you think this is an unfair view of French schools.

Phoebe
Ooh, I think you have "said the secret word" here - autism. It has been a few years since I was last involved with the AAWE (Association of American Wives of Europeans), but I recall a couple of very emotional conversations with women in that group who were bitterly disappointed with the treatment for autistic children or those with serious learning disabilities in the French public schools.

It may have changed, but my impression was that, other than a "speech therapist" there don't seem to be too many resources available in the public schools.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Ooh, I think you have "said the secret word" here - autism. It has been a few years since I was last involved with the AAWE (Association of American Wives of Europeans), but I recall a couple of very emotional conversations with women in that group who were bitterly disappointed with the treatment for autistic children or those with serious learning disabilities in the French public schools.

It may have changed, but my impression was that, other than a "speech therapist" there don't seem to be too many resources available in the public schools.
Cheers,
Bev
Autism is on the rise it seems, in particular in developed nations. I saw online that a small private school in Paris had an integrated class for children with autism. Considering the need children with autism need, it's a serious shame that France does not have adequate services for them. The level of care that they require, assuming it is a low-functioning child, is very intensive and individualized. Both things are expensive.
 
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Autism is on the rise it seems, in particular in developed nations. Unquote

Your reference for this, please?

The nearest I could get to it in an admittedly brief 'net search is....

<<<The number of people known to have autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved.[8]>>>

..... which is from WikiPedia, which one can choose to believe or not. However, their assessment that it is the improved diagnosis that has increased identifacation makes more sense to me than a sweeping statement that it /has/ increased.
 

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Autism is on the rise it seems, in particular in developed nations. Unquote

Your reference for this, please?

The nearest I could get to it in an admittedly brief 'net search is....

<<<The number of people known to have autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved.[8]>>>

..... which is from WikiPedia, which one can choose to believe or not. However, their assessment that it is the improved diagnosis that has increased identifacation makes more sense to me than a sweeping statement that it /has/ increased.

Why Is Autism on the Rise?
UC Davis Health System Feature: California's autism increase...
Increase in Autism Baffles Scientists : University of Michigan PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT
Autism on the Rise: New program helps teachers help children, parents
As autism rate increases, so does media coverage of the neurological disorder

there are many more sources available if you know how to search for the information.

for example, here are a few scholarly sources:
http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/cceh/Epipaper1208.pdf
http://www.cvtcinc.com/autism_cases.pdf
http://www.nationalautismcenter.org...ase not due to better counting, diagnosis.pdf
http://www.house.mi.gov/SessionDocs/2009-2010/Testimony/Committee11-6-9-2009-1.pdf

sources on the rise in industrialized nations are also available. wikipedia is not the place to look.
 

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If your husband is looking to teach at British or international schools on the continent (France, Spain, Italy etc), the first place to look is the jobs section of TES, either online or paper version (I'm sure he is familiar with that!) Many schools recruit in England, with local interviews etc, so you don't have to travel abroad only to be disappointed.
I must say that jobs are very competitive, as many teachers desire to work abroad, either temporarily (e.g. job exchange) or permanently as part of family relocation, and there is a large existing pool of teachers with years of international experience. There are also SCE (Service Children's Education) schools at British military bases abroad - their schools are run on an English state school principle and curriculum, but paid for by the Ministry of Defence. They too recruit through TES. You can even read their Ofsted reports!
 

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My wife and I are ex international school teachers, having taught in several countries. it's a great way to "escape" and if you can get into a good international school your autistic child will be well cared for. TES is ok but it's not the best way to go about an international teaching post. CIS and Search Associates (not sure if they take you unless you have taught abroad - we used them) have several job fairs around the world including two in London each year. We used to go to the one in Feb when making the decision to move on. We always found something, even though not being highly qualified. The pay is good and usually includes housing, medical insurance, free education, etc. Using an institution like Search, means that the schools have been vetted and you do not end up in an "international school" of little standing offering low salaries and usually dodgy contracts, etc.
 

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My wife and I are ex international school teachers, having taught in several countries. it's a great way to "escape" and if you can get into a good international school your autistic child will be well cared for. TES is ok but it's not the best way to go about an international teaching post. CIS and Search Associates (not sure if they take you unless you have taught abroad - we used them) have several job fairs around the world including two in London each year. We used to go to the one in Feb when making the decision to move on. We always found something, even though not being highly qualified. The pay is good and usually includes housing, medical insurance, free education, etc. Using an institution like Search, means that the schools have been vetted and you do not end up in an "international school" of little standing offering low salaries and usually dodgy contracts, etc.
Just out of curiosity, what cities were you able to find employment in?

(My wife is interested in teaching in the Paris area, she currently holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the west coast, US)
 

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Just out of curiosity, what cities were you able to find employment in?

(My wife is interested in teaching in the Paris area, she currently holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the west coast, US)
I taught here in the Auvergne for the first 3 years we were here, initially by the local College asking my daughter if I would be interested in being their "assistante". As I already had TEFL experience and a Modern Languages degree, it was a problem neither to me nor to the Rectorat in Clermont - which got me registered with the Rectorat. The Inspection Academique then got to hear of me and they asked if I'd be their "intervenante" in primary schools in the area, the local Catholic primary school also consequently heard of me and requested the same, as did the local Universitaire Populaire, and I ended up running language clubs in schools where I wasn't actually teaching as well .... (I thought I'd come here to semi-retire ...)

Anyway, on the assumption that you're a reasonably fluent French speaker, the advice I can give is to make yourself well-known to local educational establishments - as a volunteer at first, if necessary - and see if you can register as a supply teacher at the Rectorat and Inspection. And you could offer out-of-hours soutien at the PIJ/PAIO. Also to get yourself known, you could take a trip into the local Chambre de Commerce, Mairie and Tourist Office and let it be known what you would like to do and perhaps also that you could translate/interpret if required. As in all other walks of life it's about WHO you know rather than WHAT you know.

It's true that you don't get the full rate for the job, but it has other upsides. The benefit of what happened to me was that I got straight into the Healthcare system, started earning a French state pension, and qualified for pay-related fonctionnaire's unemployment benefit - and RMI - when I needed them. (The downside is that I can't go anywhere in town without getting waylaid so everything takes a million times longer than it should!)

Hope that helps a bit. Good luck.

Hils
 

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Just out of curiosity, what cities were you able to find employment in?

(My wife is interested in teaching in the Paris area, she currently holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the west coast, US)
Just be careful, though. I notice that hils is originally from the UK, which means no visa problems/issues.

It is a major question for you (from the US) as to whether or not the Rectorat would be able to sponsor you for a working visa.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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123 if your child has Autism...DO NOT COME TO FRANCE... STAY IN THE UK! France has little or no support services for children with ASD. ABA therapy is seen as experimental and you could risk your HF-ASD child losing school placement as he gets older (middle school.. college in france)
I am an Autism Behavior Analyst currently practicing in France... I was contacted by DESPERATE French families to come and assist from the US. The situation and mentality of treating children with ASD is about 40-50 years BEHIND the USA!

While I understand the need for a change in lifestyle, I would strongly advise considering your child's placement in educational settings abroad as a deciding factor on where you plan to relocate. It makes no sense to move to another country and get less services than in your home country. As you know a child with autism has different needs and those needs can be stressful for a family, even when the child is HF. There is no need to add additional stress by moving (which is stressful in itself) to a place where there is less support for you and your child.
Just my 2 cents....
 

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Just be careful, though. I notice that hils is originally from the UK, which means no visa problems/issues.

It is a major question for you (from the US) as to whether or not the Rectorat would be able to sponsor you for a working visa.
Cheers,
Bev
Yes, thank you Bev. This simple fact will certainly continue to haunt my family and I for a long time. I like to stay positive and hope for the best but that alone will not change the circumstances that favor other EU citizens. It's just but it also makes things hard for us.

Sixminutes, you said you're an interventionist, are you a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst)? You apparently are able to work as a recognized professional in France. I ask because I'm in the special education field (from the west coast) and am still finishing up my studies. I've received a certificate in applied behavior analysis in educational settings as well as a certificate in autism from a university, I'm also close to completing a masters in school/educational psychology. Anyways, I qualify to complete BCBA hours to stand to take the certification but was not certain whether I should go forward with becoming board certified. It's very much up in the air. Would you recommend it for someone considering moving to France, meaning, is there a great need for qualified professionals in that field? Thanks in advance for any information.
 

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Teaching abroad reply

Just out of curiosity, what cities were you able to find employment in?

(My wife is interested in teaching in the Paris area, she currently holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the west coast, US)
My first response centred around the fact that you were considering possibly "getting away". It seems that you are looking at Europe whereas my wife and I have ventured a little further afield through (mainly the two organizations mentioned previously - CIS, Search Associates). For what it's worth then, since 2001 we have taught in Windhoek- Namibia, Colombo-Sri Lanka, Singapore-Singapore, Khartoum-Sudan. Bon Chance!!
 

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My first response centred around the fact that you were considering possibly "getting away". It seems that you are looking at Europe whereas my wife and I have ventured a little further afield through (mainly the two organizations mentioned previously - CIS, Search Associates). For what it's worth then, since 2001 we have taught in Windhoek- Namibia, Colombo-Sri Lanka, Singapore-Singapore, Khartoum-Sudan. Bon Chance!!
That sounds like quite an adventure, sir. We are as you noticed, primarily interested in Europe, specifically France. Thanks for the resources. In time, I'll be contacting them.

123 if your child has Autism...DO NOT COME TO FRANCE... STAY IN THE UK! France has little or no support services for children with ASD. ABA therapy is seen as experimental and you could risk your HF-ASD child losing school placement as he gets older (middle school.. college in france)
I am an Autism Behavior Analyst currently practicing in France... I was contacted by DESPERATE French families to come and assist from the US. The situation and mentality of treating children with ASD is about 40-50 years BEHIND the USA!
Hopefully, you are available to answer the questions I posed to you above. Thanx.
 
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