Teaching at The British School Caracas
TBSC is fully aware of the importance of recruiting the right teachers for our school. As such, a comprehensive recruitment policy exists. TBSC aims to find the right ‘fit’ and as such, conduct an open and transparent process. A normal recruitment process would consist of most of the elements listed below:
- Initial application
- A 5 minute lesson clip sent to TBSC
- Face to face structured interview (in some cases, Skype is accepted)
- Face to face presentation by applicant (in some cases, Skype is accepted)
- Interviewers grade all interviews alongside a clear success criteria
- Applicants are passed on contacts of current staff who they must contact to get an idea of TBSC and Venezuela
- Police checks are undertaken
- A social media check is undertaken
- Reference checks followed with the last Head of School telephoned
- A decision is taken and offer made if successful
The Academic Year and TBSC
The academic year at TBSC consists of 185 teaching days (190 staff days). Classes do not exceed 20 students and normally are much smaller. Most yeargroups consist of two, parallel mixed ability classes. We have dedicated facilities for ICT (computing), Design and Technology (DT), Art, Music, Drama, Primary and Secondary Libraries, Sports and two Science Labs. All classrooms have air conditioning, a projector and nearly all have an interactive whiteboard. The British School Caracas boasts the fastest wifi in any school in Venezuela, if not South America! At any one time, we can have approximately 300 people using the wifi, streaming videos and using the internet smoothly.
TBSC is a not-for profit school. The Board (or Governing Body) consists of fourteen elected TBSC parents who work voluntarily. TBSC also has a very active Parent-Teacher Association who organise community events. The school is lead by the Head of School who acts as the Chief Executive Officer. He is assisted by the Senior Leadership Team, Primary Management Team and Secondary Management Team. There is an extensive support and administrative staff, including teaching assistants in all Primary classes.
A typical teaching load at TBSC consists of:
- 65-70% teaching.
- One After School Club per week
- Subject area responsibility (Primary Section)
International health insurance is provided by a local health insurer plus travel insurance with an international company when outside Venezuela. We have a full time School Nurse on site and we are within minutes of world class clinics.
Housing & Transport
Housing is provided by the school in a secure and furnished apartment. A lower, local cost of living than teachers are used to in the UK applies in Caracas. Some teachers have cars, motorbikes etc.
Apartments are close to school, however teachers, are encouraged to take either the bus service provided by the school or to use local taxis which are convenient and easy to use. Apartments are well furnished and teachers do not require many household items besides ones that they would consider luxuries (special appliances, favoured utensils, etc.) Teachers may also wish to bring personal items such as music players, laptops, tablets, medicine, back-packing gear etc.
The British School Caracas provides one extra suitcase upon arrival and also an allowance that is intended to help new staff settle. In addition, there is a comprehensive induction week.
Club and Gym membership
Subsidised club and gym memberships are provided
TBSC follows a 12 point scale that depends on the number of years teaching experience and number of degrees. We conform to all the requirements of Venezuelan employment legislation. Payment is in both local currency (Bolivares) and USD, and the latter is very competitive for the region.
A flight to Caracas and back to the ‘home city’ at the end of the initial two year contract, is provided. A mid-year allowance of half a return ticket is also provided. After two years, staff are entitled to a return ticket every year.
Staff can pursue an active social life and visit restaurants, clubs, cinemas and other places of entertainment on a regular basis with both expatriate and Venezuelan friends. Colleagues often organise weekend trips to the beaches which are about two+ hours driving from Caracas. It is possible to fly to offshore islands and places of interest within Venezuela.
The school provides Spanish lessons for at least one hour per week for the first term. Most teachers continue this at a higher level. Teachers move freely around the area where the school and their apartments are located. Altamira is one of the leading, residential areas of Caracas.
However, naturally everyone exercises extra caution in Venezuela. Security should be of utmost concern and new staff are asked to research carefully, ask relevant questions.