Manchester is a vibrant city made up of different districts with their own individual character and small town feel, but with the benefit of all of the amenities a big city can offer. Regarded as England’s second city, Manchester has undergone extensive regeneration since 1996, aided by government inner city investments and the new developments for the XVII Commonwealth Games in 2002, the city and surrounding suburbs now boasts a very cosmopolitan environment.
It is culturally diverse, with the latest estimates suggesting that the population speaks around 200 different languages, which makes it one the most linguistically diverse cities in Europe.
With its high density and growing culturally diverse population, together with an annual influx of students from around the globe, there is a high demand for English language teachers in the city.Photo credit: Mike Kniec.
Supply / Substitute Teaching
The most common route into general teaching (Not ESL teaching jobs) is to become a supply (substitute) teacher.
Supply teachers are required to cover for absent staff members, or to provide cover before a new teacher joins the school full time. You may find yourself changing schools on a daily or weekly basis and need to be flexible on locations; however the uncertainty and lack of job security does mean that supply teachers can earn a premium for their services.
According to the latest figures, supply teachers are currently in high demand throughout the UK, due to a lack of new graduates entering the profession.
As a supply teacher you would expect to earn around 100 GBP per day, but without any guarantee of continuous employment.
Primary and secondary schools also regularly hire Classroom Assistants (also known as Teaching Assistants) who are there to assist and help the teachers. For this type of position, you do not require any formal teaching qualifications, although it would help if you have any experience of either volunteering at school or running after-school activities for kids.
As a classroom assistant, you will experience a great cultural and ethnic mix in a Manchester classroom; there are good support structures in place for teachers, with lots of extra curricular activities on offer for pupils.
Classroom assistants would earn less than qualified teachers with a typical salary being around 12,000 GBP per annum.
English as a Foreign Language Jobs
To teach English as a foreign language, you will need either a TEFL or CELTA qualification. There are several providers in Manchester for CELTA qualifications including the Manchester Academy and Manchester Central School, or TEFL/TESOL qualifications from The Manchester College.
Work opportunities tend be found within the private sector, with hourly and daily rates negotiable depending upon your level of experience, but these profit making organisations are not likely to pay top rates.
Class times are dictated by pupils’ needs, so expect to work in the late afternoons and early evenings. Good teachers will find it easy, with a little bit of self-promotion, to earn extra money providing private tutoring to either children, adults, or overseas students studying in Manchester. Charge between ₤10-15 per hour/lesson.
When and where to look for jobs in Manchester
It is advisable to begin your job search early, while you can apply online for most positions employers will require you to attend at least one interview before any formal offer of employment will be made. Make sure to regularly check the online job listing for start dates around the time you plan to arrive, apply in good time and try to pre-arrange as many interviews as you can.
One of the first places to visit when you arrive in Manchester is your local Job Centre, whether you have secured a position before you set off or not, there are 2 important things you will need before you start work: your National Insurance number and your PAYE tax code.
To find out which state run schools and colleges are recruiting in Manchester, you should visit the job section of the Manchester City Council website. Here you will find lists of all school vacancies for full-time teachers, supply teachers and classroom assistants.
Your next port of call should be the Manchester Evening News Jobs section, which lists vacancies for both teachers and teaching assistants, as well as vacancies in private and online language schools. You will also find that many agencies such as Randstad Education, Eteach and TesConnect advertise in this publication.
Accommodation is relatively easy to find in Manchester, particularly within the University district, with many landlords and letting agents specializing in short-term, shared housing for the student population.
But remember that the mass arrival of university students begins mid-August, so try to secure your accommodation before then, expect to pay around 300 GBP per month for a room in a shared house, plus your share of utility bills. Most shops, bars and restaurants cater for students, offering cut-price drinks and meals at least one night a week.
Transport throughout the city is excellent, on busy routes at peak times there is a constant stream of buses in all directions, and the Metrolink tram network provides a faster service to the outer lying regions. The city is also served by 2 mainline railway stations, providing regional and national coverage, National Express coaches and an international airport.
Helpful Hints and Insider Tips
To teach within the UK school system, you must either have a Bachelor of Education degree, or have completed a PGCE (post graduate certificate in education). Generally, a PGCE course will last for one year (full time), or two years (part time), or it is possible to study via flexible distance learning. The Faculty of Education at MMU is a leading UK centre for educational study and research welcoming international students undertaking initial teacher training or continued professional development as well as research and partnership programs. The Department for Education has full details of how to apply for PGCE programs UK wide, qualifications required and funding available.
There are many government sponsored agencies there to help you find work as teaching is currently a highly sought after skill. They include:
- The National Careers Service offers help and advice to anyone looking to enter the UK for work purposes, with a specific section dedicated to helping you transfer both your education and work-based qualifications into recognized certificates in the UK.
- If you speak any language other than English fluently, then you can apply to the British Council to become a Language Assistant in a UK school or college. In the academic year 2012-2013, the British Council sponsored more than 2000 foreign language assistants in the UK.
- Teach First is a UK charity working to help improve education levels within primary and secondary schools. They recruit and place passionate individuals into some of the countries poorest schools, whilst sponsoring participants through a 2 year Leadership Development Program which involves achieving PGCE certification and wider leadership skills.