Introducing our international teacher recruitment team

Compass Education was first founded in 2011 by Tom Arnold, and through his vision, quickly became a leading international teacher recruitment agency. Today, we remain a small, family-run business that gets to know our clients and candidates to ensure that we continue to deliver outstanding service.

With that in mind, it seems only fair, that you get the opportunity to get to know us too. In this blog, we will introduce our consultants, so you can learn a little about the team working hard on your behalf.

Name: Kathryn Kirk

Role: Director (& Owner)

How long have you been working with Compass?  2 years

What are your primary responsibilities? Managing the day-to-day running of Compass

What is your preferred method of communication (e.g., email, in-person, video call)? Video Call

What is one thing you hope to achieve as part of this team? I want to grow the team further and build on the excellent foundations already in place, whilst supporting the team as best I can. 

What is the greatest tip you can give to applicants that want to teach abroad? Research, research, research! Be as clear as you can about your expectations and ambitions, and follow your dreams! 

What is your favourite thing about your job? Interacting with schools and candidates and supporting them. Listening to the consultants report back on their work, and seeing the progress we make as a team.

Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, travelling and walking my dog. I am definitely more of a morning person, and to unwind I tend to put on my running shoes. I take my running quite seriously these days, and you will often find me training for a triathlon. 

I am a strong believer that life is a journey and not a destination, and my favourite quote is: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou. 

Name: Heather Thompson

Role: Recruitment Consultant

How long have you been working with Compass?  8 years

What are your primary responsibilities? The recruitment of excellent international teachers

What is your preferred method of communication (e.g., email, in-person, video call)? Video Call

What is one thing you hope to achieve as part of this team? I hope that my experience both as a recruitment specialist and also as someone that has relocated many times can benefit others. My husband is an international headteacher, so I have a wealth of relevant knowledge and help to impart.

What is the greatest tip you can give to applicants that want to teach abroad? Be open-minded and flexible. 

What is your favourite thing about your job? Placing someone in a job they are thrilled to have been offered. 

I am another morning person, who loves spending time with my family and walking the dog. To unwind, you often find me cycling or tinkering in the garden. I also love meeting friends and new people, which bodes well for my line of work.

Name: Honoria Arnold

Role: Administrative Consultant

How long have you been working with Compass?  13 years

What are your primary responsibilities? I am first in line when responding to candidate registration. This usually involves screening newly registered candidates, maintaining the candidate database, uploading new job adverts and maintaining the vacancy website.

What is your preferred method of communication (e.g., email, in-person, video call)? Video Call

What is one thing you hope to achieve as part of this team? My main goal is maintaining an excellent database, to help the recruitment team match the right candidates with the right international teaching jobs.

What is the greatest tip you can give to applicants that want to teach abroad? Seize the opportunity of a position that suits you and your profile.

What is your favourite thing about your job? Being involved in helping dreams come true.

A fun fact about me, that not many know, is that a photo of me was featured in the Beatles Museum in Liverpool. To find out why, you will have to register! To unwind after a busy day or recruitment season, I will often snuggle up and watch a good murder mystery. Always open to a recommendation or two. The motto that drives me is: “To do little things well.”

Name: Nicola Hemingway

Role: Senior Consultant

How long have you been working with Compass?  A year (in September)

What are your primary responsibilities? Recruiting brilliant international educators, and developing teacher & leadership recruitment.

What is your preferred method of communication (e.g., email, in-person, video call)? Video Call

What is one thing you hope to achieve as part of this team? To be able to work together to support international schools, their teachers and their leaders build the best educational teams possible. 

What is the greatest tip you can give to applicants that want to teach abroad? Take time at the start of the search, to look into locations and the differing types of schools available. This is where an education consultant can be invaluable as they will be able to provide you with the information needed to support you in making the decision that is right for you and your career and life aspirations.

What is your favourite thing about your job? Hearing updates from candidates about how much they are enjoying their new careers and country.

I am definitely a morning person, especially in the summertime. Outside of work, I particularly enjoy travel and cookery and especially enjoy combining the two and learning about a country via their local food! The quote that motivates me is from Jane Goodall – “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

We work very closely with international schools and international teachers and leaders. For our clients, which include some of the best international schools in the world, we work alongside you, to best understand your needs and provide you with the best-fit teachers and leaders.  For our candidates, we take pride in dedicating as much time as possible to supporting you on your international teaching journey and finding the right role for you, in the right school.

As a leading education recruitment consultancy, Compass has been successfully supporting international schools since 2011. With a wealth of experience in education and recruitment, our dedicated team of consultants ensures that we meet the challenges of fast-paced teacher recruitment and navigate the intricacies of leadership appointments. 

Get in touch, if you would like to work with us.

We would love to hear from you.


Global Citizenship Education

Preparing Students for Success in a Connected World

In today’s interconnected world, it is more important than ever for students to develop the skills and knowledge needed to be active and responsible global citizens. By incorporating global citizenship into the curriculum, we can prepare students to navigate the complex challenges of the 21st century and to make a positive impact on the world. A critical component of this includes helping students to develop a sense of empathy, respect, and responsibility for people from different cultures and backgrounds. In this blog, we’ll explore the value of global citizenship education and share some examples of how international schools successfully build it into their curriculum.

What is Global citizenship and where did it come from?

The idea of global citizenship is not a new one, it has its roots in ancient Greek philosophy, with the Greek philosopher Diogenes being credited with coining the term “cosmopolitan” in the 4th century BCE. The concept of cosmopolitanism emphasised the idea of shared humanity and the importance of recognising and respecting cultural diversity.

During the 20th century, the idea of global citizenship emerged in response to the growing interconnectedness of the world and the need for a more inclusive and collaborative approach to addressing global challenges. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, is often cited as a key milestone in the development of global citizenship, as it recognised the inherent dignity and worth of all human beings regardless of nationality, race, or gender.

Since then, the concept of global citizenship has gained increasing recognition and importance in international policy and education, with organisations such as UNESCO and the International Baccalaureate promoting global citizenship education as a means of building a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world.

Today, global citizenship refers to the idea that individuals have a responsibility to engage with the world beyond their own communities and to understand and act on global issues. It is the recognition that we are all interconnected and that our actions, both positive and negative, have an impact on the world around us. Global citizenship involves a sense of belonging to a larger community, beyond national borders, and a commitment to promoting the well-being of all people and the planet. Being a global citizen is not just about having knowledge of global issues but also taking responsibility and taking action to make a positive difference.

Why is global citizenship important to international schools?

Happily, global citizenship education fits very naturally into an international school setting. International schools often have a diverse student body representing many different countries and cultures. Promoting global citizenship is a common part of fostering a sense of community and belonging among their students, despite their differences. This can create a more inclusive and welcoming learning environment for all students, their families, and international school teachers as they settle in.

International schools often have a mission to prepare students for a globalised world. Teaching abroad prepares educators to easily incorporate global issues such as poverty, inequality, climate change, and human rights into lessons across different subjects. This helps students to develop a better understanding of these issues and their impact on the world. For some students, depending on their setting, they may be able to witness the impact of these issues first-hand, making them acutely aware of the interconnectedness of the world and their role in it. This can help prepare them to be active and responsible global citizens.

By promoting global citizenship, international schools can encourage students to take action on issues such as poverty, inequality, and climate change. Some might encourage community service as part of their curriculum, enabling students to develop a sense of responsibility and the skills and knowledge needed to make a positive impact on the world.

When you are teaching abroad at an international school, promoting intercultural understanding and respect is important. Global citizenship education insists that students learn about different cultures, traditions, and customs from around the world. This can help students develop empathy and respect for people from different backgrounds and promote intercultural understanding. Ultimately, this can help students become more effective communicators and collaborators in a global context.

Beyond the walls of your classroom, global citizenship can be encouraged through the safe use of technology to connect with other cultures. Students can use technology to connect with students from other countries and cultures, promoting intercultural communication and collaboration.

Above all else, it is important to encourage students to think critically about global issues and to consider different perspectives and solutions. This can help students develop a sense of agency and empower them to take action on issues they care about.

By building global citizenship into your curriculum, you can help prepare your students to become active and responsible global citizens who are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to make a positive impact on the world.

Global citizenship education is a powerful tool for preparing students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. By incorporating global perspectives into the curriculum, we can help students develop empathy, respect, and understanding for people from different cultures and backgrounds, as well as the critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to address complex global issues. Whether through service learning projects, cultural exchange programs, or interdisciplinary coursework, there are many ways to integrate global citizenship into the curriculum and inspire the next generation of global citizens. By doing so, we can empower our students to make a positive impact on the world and to become agents of change in their communities and beyond.




The global rise of international schools – and what that means for You

The demand for international schools has been steadily increasing for the last forty years.  According to a recent report by ISC Research, the number of international schools worldwide increased from 8,700 in January 2013 to 13,190 in January 2023. The reasons behind the growth are varied, but some of the primary drivers include globalisation, increased mobility of students and families, and a growing demand for high-quality education.

According to data taken from ISC Research Whitepaper: Why more international schools keep opening, February 2023: Asia as a total region currently represents 57% of the entire market for the number of international schools, in comparison, Europe represents 18%. 

With the world becoming more interconnected, international schools have emerged as a way for parents to ensure their children receive an education that is recognised globally. International schools tend to follow recognised curricula such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or Advanced Placement (AP) programs, that are well respected and valued by universities and employers around the world. This means that students who attend international schools can continue their education, or entry to the workplace, seamlessly, no matter where they are in the world.

Another reason for the growth of international schools is the increasing mobility of students and families. With the rise of expatriate communities and the ease of international travel, many families are choosing to live and work overseas. International schools provide an opportunity for these families to ensure their children receive an education that is consistent with their home country’s curriculum and standards. Conversely, there is also a desire by more young people to study for higher education, which will take them beyond their home country.

Many parents are willing to pay a premium for high-quality education. In many countries across Asia, international schools are often seen as a priority investment for families that can afford private schooling. The schools often offer smaller class sizes that allow for differentiated and individualised attention for students, and more resources than local schools. Furthermore, international schools are often staffed by highly qualified and experienced teachers who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom.

What does this mean for international teachers?

For qualified teachers who want to work overseas, the growth of international schools presents many opportunities. International schools are always in need of qualified and experienced teachers, particularly those who are fluent in English and have experience teaching international curricula. 

However, the process of finding a job in an international school can be challenging, and there are several factors that teachers should consider before pursuing this career path. Firstly, it is important to note that competition for jobs in international schools can be intense, and schools often receive hundreds of applications for each position. Therefore, it is essential for teachers to have a strong resume and cover letter that highlights their experience and qualifications.

In addition to the competition, teachers also need to consider the potential challenges of working in an international school. For example, teachers may need to adapt to different teaching styles and cultural norms, they may need to be flexible and willing to adapt to different curricula and teaching methods, as international schools may follow different educational systems than those in their home country. Furthermore, teachers should consider how they would feel being away from their immediate support network. A good international school, will go to great lengths to help new teachers settle in and establish connections within the community, but inevitably there will come a point when they miss home, so it is important to feel prepared for that too. 

In conclusion

Despite these challenges, there are many benefits to working in an international school. For example, teachers have the opportunity to work with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures, which can be highly rewarding. Furthermore, teachers in international schools often have access to more resources and technology than they would in local schools, which can help them become more effective educators. Additionally, teachers in international schools often receive competitive salaries and benefits packages, which can make a move overseas financially attractive.

It is important to remember that whilst there is a growing number of international schools offering opportunities to teach abroad, not all international schools are created equal. There are many factors that can influence the quality of education and the working environment at an international school. When considering job opportunities, there are several things that applicants should look out for to ensure that they are applying to reputable and high-quality schools. These include things like the school’s reputation, teacher turnover rates, resources and facilities, curriculum and teaching methods. 




The rise of sustainability education in international schools

Although sustainability has been an important policy topic for governments and international organisations for many years, it has become an increasingly significant topic to school aged children more recently. With the likes of Greta Thunberg and others providing the example and inspiring change, children are proactively seeking to lead environmental initiatives that create the necessary impact for a better world.

The international school community, with its global perspective, is highly likely to incorporate sustainability into their core curriculum. In particular, international schools that follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum will place a strong emphasis on sustainability education across a range of subjects as the IB requires schools to demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability in their operations. Reducing energy and water consumption, especially in countries with a high heating/cooling demand or water scarcity, is considered an easy win in terms of initiatives. This need for greater energy and water efficiency has been a primary driver for schools to embrace sustainability – but there are others.

Reasons to teach sustainability:

Global Awareness: International schools proudly boast widely diverse student bodies, with children drawn from many different parts of the world. One of their main roles being to foster global citizens who are aware of the challenges that the world faces and sustainability being a critical issue that affects the planet, international schools have an opportunity to help students understand the impact of their actions on the environment.

Responsibility: In many jurisdictions, international schools are built in and around a large and privileged community. As such, they exert significant influence in the wider community and therefore act as role models for sustainable practices in their community. By practising sustainability, they can lead by example and inspire others to adopt sustainable practices.

Health and well-being: For some international schools, particularly across the sprawling mega-cities of Asia, urban air quality has reached a crisis point. Teaching students to understand the impact of sustainable practice on such issues, is a necessity for their wellbeing.

Future-proofing: With the increasingly clear impact of climate change and environmental degradation, sustainability is becoming a critical issue for the future. By emphasising sustainability, international schools are preparing students for the challenges they may face in the future and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to address them.

Curriculum: Some schools may simply build this into extra or co-curricular activity, whilst for others, sustainability may be a core focus of the school. Green School Bali, for example, paved the way over 10 years ago when they announced their commitment “to create a global community of learners, making our world sustainable”. Since then, more schools have made the subject matter a core part of their mission.

Spotlight on The Arbor School in Dubai:

The Arbor School in Dubai is a example of a school that is focused on sustainability education. The school’s mission is to educate and inspire students to become environmentally responsible and sustainable global citizens.

Sustainability is integrated into all aspects of school life, from the curriculum, to extra-curricular activities and the day to day running of the school. The school has developed its own sustainability framework which is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and covers topics such as waste reduction, renewable energy and biodiversity conservation.

The Arbor School’s campus is designed to be sustainable as well, with features such as a green roof, bespoke biodomes, solar panels, and a rainwater harvesting system. The school has an organic farm on campus, where students learn to grow and cook food, which allows them to take an active role in the “farm-to-fork” cycle.

Ultimately, eco-literacy, sustainability and environmental justice form the three pillars at the core of the Arbor School vision, “Enough for all, forever.” Eco-literacy is different from earlier trends in environmental education, which viewed humans as a destructive force in nature and pursued education as a path to curb destruction. The aim at Arbor, is to cultivate an ethos of ecological understanding and environmental mindfulness that drives innovative, creative problem-solving for a more sustainable world.

What’s next?

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of sustainability education. Many countries and regions have developed curriculum frameworks that incorporate sustainability, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) initiative. In addition, there are many non-governmental organisations and educational programs that provide resources and training for teachers to integrate sustainability into their lesson plans.

However, sustainability education can take many forms, and some international schools are realising that they need additional resources to deliver their intended environmental curriculum effectively. With that realisation comes the advent of new sustainability-focused roles that work to integrate sustainable practices into the school’s operations and curriculum.

Keep an eye on our vacancy listings to discover the perfect, sustainable role for you.

Find your Sustainability dream job



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