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Advice on teaching in SE Asia / Tanglin Trust School

Advice on teaching in SE Asia / Tanglin Trust School

Postby MC1977 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:05 pm

I was wondering if I could get any advice from anyone who has experience, or knowledge, of the Tanglin Trust School in Singapore?

How does is compare to other schools in the country/region? Does the fact it is a 'trust' mean it can maintain its educational integrity more easily than other profit making international schools?

Given the high cost of living in Singapore, do the remuneration packages allow teachers to save and travel in the region?

What schools/countries would you recommend in the region? I suppose I am looking to have a balance between saving/travel within the region/family life in the country and of course a school that has education at its heart. I know, I know I seem to want it all!!

This would be my first international teaching post and I am after any advice that will help me make the right choice for my family.

Thanks in advance.
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Postby JISAlum » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:46 pm

There are other Singapore expat teachers on the board that will hopefully chime in. When I was teaching at SAS, Tanglin was an 'overflow' school- meaning that is where students went that didn't get into other schools. SAS and UWC were considered more desirable.

Singapore is a great place to live, but it's expensive. I wouldn't want to live there without the funds to enjoy the region.
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Postby PsyGuy » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:09 pm

Hi, welcome to the forum. First the easy questions. "Trust" doesnt mean anything its just a name. JISAlum is absolutely correct, they dont enjoy the greatest reputation, and they arent the most desirable school for students to go. They are still a Tier 1 school (as opposed to say a tier 2 school like ACJC, or a tier 3 school such as CNS). It wouldnt be a bad place to get your foot in the door and get started. That said compared to an American public school you will be blown away by the students academic abilities.

They dont have the greatest compensation package though, in my opinion is it isnt very good, and based on what they pay, with a family you wouldnt be living very well at all. They pay about $30K GBP annually. Singapore is expensive, its basically one big mall with a beach (Sentosa). There isnt a lot of travel to do since its a small island. It takes 6 hours by bus to get to KL in Malaysia. Honestly, I dont think youd be able to afford much travel anyway.

Singapore is a nice "easy" place for a first post. English is everywhere, its modern, its about as western an asian city can get. About the biggest problems I had there was the heat/humidity (its less then a 100 miles to the equator, and the only season they have is summer), sterility (shopping and eating out get old and expensive after awhile, and there isnt really anything else to do) and the lack of any real culture (the country isnt that old, something like 75 years). You wont have the culture shock, and language frustrations youd have in some places in Asia. All the big chain restaurants are there (they even have a Hooters). Mufastas is a lot like Walmart, there isnt anything you cant get or find unless your really brand loyal to something. You wont be able to get a car, if thats important to you (its far too expensive). Everything is orderly and efficient, and they have a pretty strong work ethic. Most Saporian life revolves around work, family, and spending money. Living in Singapore is like a cross between living in Manhattan Hawaii. The cost of living is prohibitive, many young people cant really afford to get married, such that the government has social dating programs (they did a flash mob to sponsor an event last year if I remember).
Last edited by PsyGuy on Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby elfieldinho » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:57 am

I work at UWC and I can tell you that Tanglin is very well regarded as a school. I don't know exact details about the package, but I believe that it is pretty similar to ours, meaning that you can live very well on it. I've seen a few things on here about standard/cost of living in Singapore of late suggesting that the salaries don't go very far and it is a real misconception.
Teachers at Tanglin work very hard, but they are well paid for it. From everything that I hear, I would definitely recommend Tanglin to you.
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Postby MC1977 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:40 am

Firstly, thank you very much for all your replies.

From my research, it seems unless a school is a real top school its reputation can fluctuate depending on the director and/or head in charge at the time. With this in mind JISAlum and PysGuy, could your info be a little out of date?

As regards the 'trust' it does seem it is just a name. Having said that, the website does state they are a 'non-profit company limited by guarantee' and goes on to say that 'all revenue is devoted to the provision of education'; which is obviously a positive. However, I am not sure what the 'limited by guarantee' part means!

Unfortunately, I still cannot find any info on salary. What do you think the salary range would be for a UK qualified teacher with 5 years experience?

Once again thanks in advance.
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Postby PsyGuy » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:33 am

My experience is dated its been several years since I taught in Singapore. Some of the current posts seem far more encouraging then I would have expected. As most things I've discovered the reality/truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

Many schools are non-profits, that doesn't mean they are less susceptible to financial and management problems. Limited by Guarantee is a financial legal term that means the school has a guarantor that provides financial audit/oversight. This means a third . organization is watching the money. It doesn't mean much though, simply watching the money doesn't mean someone can step in and stop the school from doing something. They can still be managed poorly, though it reduces the risk. My personal feeling is that a school doesn't need to advertise their integrity, and a school that does is trying to sell you something.

As I wrote in my post they pay starting teachers about $30K GBP, I don't know what there salary scale is, as my associate doesn't have that information.
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Postby MC1977 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:37 am

Thanks PsyGuy.
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