Teaching in a GEMS UK Curriculum International School
What are the salaries for overseas hire teachers?
GEMS have a salary scale across our schools which is based on years of teaching experience. Your individual salary level will be discussed with you prior to, or at interview stage. Salaries in the UAE and across most of our schools are always quoted monthly. Salaries are competitive and in the UAE are tax free. This may vary in other countries according to local tax laws.
What else is included in the package?
Typically overseas teaching packages include: salary, furnished accommodation, visa costs, comprehensive medical insurance, joining flights, annual flight allowance, baggage allowance and tuition fee concession for dependants. Depending on the country where you are working you may also be entitled to an end of service gratuity on completion of your contract. This is applicable in the UAE.
Will I be paid the same as I am in my home country?
You will be paid according to your experience, and the corresponding point on the GEMS salary scale. This may differ from your salary in your home country. For example, for UK teachers the National Teacher Payscale and Threshold is only applicable in the UK, so does not apply to international teaching positions.
Can I earn responsibility allowances / management points?
Yes, teachers who take on positions of responsibility, for example Coordinator or Head of Department are awarded Management Points. Teachers can achieve up to 7 Management Points and each point awarded equates to a monthly salary stipend in addition to their base salary.
Are there opportunities for career progression and CPD within GEMS?
Yes, GEMS offers excellent opportunities for career progression. We have a large network of schools, both in the UAE and across the world. Internal promotion is encouraged and all our vacancies are advertised internally.
We also have a dedicated Professional Development department based at our Dubai head office. Teachers at GEMS schools access the company’s professional development programme, one of the largest education training programmes in the world. This ensures the best possible academic outcomes as well as ensuring that GEMS attracts, and retains the highest calibre teaching and leadership staff. GEMS centralized PD programme supports schools by offering a series of PD programmes across our network. It draws on the expertise of GEMS staff within schools, Corporate Office and our wide network of international consultants. In addition, the programme offers opportunities for staff across GEMS to develop their own training and facilitation skills.
What is the typical working week for teachers?
The working week in the UAE is Sunday – Thursday, with Friday and Saturday as the weekend. Depending on the age group you are teaching, school typically starts around 7.40-7.45am and finishes around 2.45-2.55pm, with an earlier finish on Thursdays. Hours for Foundation Stage are shorter but the working day remains the same.
Will I get PPA time?
Yes, GEMS policy is 20% PPA time across our International schools, which is significantly higher than the UK. In our Primary schools this is made possible as we have specialist teachers for certain subjects including Arabic, French, PE and Music.
What are the school holidays?
Teachers in the UAE are entitled to 60 days holiday in the summer. Term typically finishes at the end of June and starts again in early September. There are also breaks at Christmas and Easter. Holidays may vary slightly from this in our schools outside of the UAE. You can view the academic calendars on our individual schools websites.
Do I have to take part in extra-curricular activities?
Extra-curricular activities are an integral and important aspect of our schools. There are many activities that you can get involved in such as sports, performing arts, charitable initiatives etc. All of our teachers are contracted to two extra-curricular activities per week although many do more than this. Extra-curricular activities are typically after school and can run until around 4.30pm, although this may be later for sports fixtures etc.
What exam boards do the schools use?
Our National Curriculum for England schools use a range of exam boards including AQA, EdExcel and the Northern Irish Exam Board.
What about my spouse/partner/children? Can they come with me?
It is possible for your spouse and children to join you however costs of living in the UAE can be fairly high and as a general rule, families trying to live on one teaching salary may find it difficult. You may need to consider whether your spouse will be able to easily find employment here. Also most people in the UAE live in apartments which may not be suitable if you have a large family or older children. Teaching couples who are both employed are able to achieve a good standard of living and save money. It is illegal for unmarried couples to live together in the UAE so unmarried teaching couples who are employed by GEMS must have separate accommodation.
I have a pet. Can I bring it with me?
It is possible to bring pets from most countries into the UAE. It is worth bearing in mind that most people in the UAE live in apartments without any outside access apart from a balcony so it may not be suitable for all pets. Many people in the UAE have house cats. There are some areas to walk dogs but most public beaches etc do not allow dogs and there are limited areas where dogs can be let off the lead. The UAE is rabies free so you can bring pets from the UK without quarantine. There are various companies who can assist you with relocating your pet. The cost and arrangements for relocating your pet are your own responsibility.
What is accommodation like for teachers?
Standards of accommodation in the UAE are good. Most of our teachers live in apartments in areas/communities, with good access to facilities such as gyms, pools, shops and restaurants. Teachers have their own accommodation, however if you wish to share with a friend who is also employed by GEMS this can often be arranged. Accommodation is within reasonable travelling distance from the school, typically no more than 20 minutes away. Lots of our teachers live in similar areas/buildings so it is easy to meet people and many of our teachers travel to work together and car share.