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5 key points in international school teacher contracts in Singapore

Navigating the world of international teaching can be a thrilling adventure, filled with opportunities to broaden your horizons, both professionally and personally. Singapore, known for its high educational standards and cosmopolitan lifestyle, is a popular destination for international school teachers. However, before you pack your bags and book your flight, it’s crucial to understand the key points in your contract. This will ensure that your teaching journey in Singapore is as smooth and rewarding as possible.

1. Salary and Benefits

Understanding Your Salary

First and foremost, your salary is a critical component of your contract. In Singapore, international school teachers can expect a competitive salary, often higher than what they might earn in their home country. However, it’s essential to understand that the cost of living in Singapore is also relatively high. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that your salary will cover your living expenses and still allow for savings.

Benefits Package

Aside from the basic salary, your contract should detail the benefits you’re entitled to. These can include housing allowances, health insurance, flight reimbursements, and more. Some schools even offer tuition discounts for teachers’ children. Make sure you understand each benefit and its value. For example, a housing allowance might sound great, but if property prices in Singapore are high, it might not cover the full cost of your accommodation.

2. Working Hours and Holidays

Working Hours

International school contracts will specify your working hours. Typically, these are similar to those in the UK, with a five-day working week. However, it’s worth noting that some schools might require you to participate in extracurricular activities or events outside of regular teaching hours. Make sure you’re clear on these expectations to avoid any surprises down the line.


Another important aspect to consider is your holiday entitlement. In Singapore, public holidays can differ from those in your home country. Your contract should specify the number of paid leave days you’re entitled to, as well as any school-specific holidays. Remember, teaching abroad isn’t just about work; you’ll want some time to explore your new surroundings too!

3. Contract Duration and Termination

Contract Duration

Most international school contracts in Singapore are for a fixed term, usually two years. This term can be extended by mutual agreement between you and the school. It’s important to consider the length of the contract and whether it suits your long-term plans.

Termination Clauses

Understanding the termination clauses in your contract is crucial. These clauses outline the conditions under which the contract can be ended prematurely, either by you or the school. Make sure you’re comfortable with these terms, as breaking a contract can have serious consequences, including financial penalties.

4. Professional Development Opportunities

Professional development is a key aspect of any teaching role, and international schools in Singapore are no exception. Many schools offer opportunities for further training and development, which can be a significant advantage for your career progression. Ensure that your contract specifies any professional development opportunities and whether the school will cover any associated costs.

5. Dispute Resolution

Finally, it’s important to understand how disputes will be handled should any arise. Your contract should outline the process for raising and resolving issues. This could include a formal grievance procedure or the involvement of a third-party mediator. Knowing this information upfront can provide peace of mind and help you feel more secure in your new role.

In conclusion, understanding your international school teacher contract in Singapore is crucial to ensuring a positive teaching experience. By focusing on these five key points, you can make an informed decision and embark on an exciting new chapter in your teaching career.

Elevate Your Teaching Career with iQTS

As you consider the exciting opportunities of teaching in Singapore, ensure you’re fully prepared to meet the high standards of international schools. The IQTS at UWE offers the International Qualified Teacher Status (iQTS) Programme, designed to enhance your professional development and make you stand out. With the iQTS, you can overcome qualification barriers, increase your chances of career progression, connect with a global community of educators, adapt to various education systems, and balance work with flexible study options. Don’t let the chance to advance your teaching career slip by. Make Your Next Step with the iQTS programme and transform your potential into success.

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