THE INDUSTRY IN LONDON
Schooling in Britain is generally centralized and state-funded, making it an important area of community and political focus. In addition, Britain has a long scholarly tradition in sociology and theories of educational upbringing. This makes Britain, and London in particular, an excellent locale in which to pursue an internship in the field of education.
The majority of children in England attend local government-run schools. There is also a thriving private school system in the UK, where parents pay tuition for the entirety of their child’s schooling. All schools and educational childcare providers in England are monitored by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), which inspects institutions to help improve and monitor standards. Children in state schools are taught the National Curriculum, which is broken into Key Stages to determine what is taught and how performance is assessed and reported. High-stakes testing forms an important part of children’s education, and students are accepted to university almost entirely on the basis of the results of their “A-level” exams.
There are also a large number of educational programs throughout the UK which cater to specific disciplines and areas of interest. These help develop children, youth, and adults by nurturing their talents and increasing their range of knowledge and understanding.
|All students interested in working in education and/or with children will need to bring a valid police check to London. Learn more here.
Students who choose Education may be placed in any of the opportunities below. If a particular sub-area catches your eye, let us know on your MyInternship form.
Community Education Organizations
Education can take many forms and there are a number of opportunities to work in the sector beyond teaching. Internships in this area include organizations which support community education initiatives, education policy, or business-education partnerships. Many charities and social enterprises have an education department aimed at community youth education and outreach. Tasks are usually a combination of administrative, research, and project work.
A number of organizations offer educational programs in coordination with school outings (field trips) or as afterschool activities. Some initiatives specialize in a particular learning focus, such as arts, sports, nutrition, health, or the environment. Others provide services to specific groups, such as refugees, people with learning or other disabilities, or NEETs (young people Not in Education, Employment or Training). Interns will assist in planning, coordinating, and delivering the programs, and may have the opportunity to work directly with the children or students involved.
Adult & Higher Education Organizations
Education is a life-long endeavor, and many organizations support learning after school. Interns have the opportunity to work in university-level higher education, study abroad institutions, business-education partnerships, and continuing professional development. Placements are typically in the administrative and communications departments of these companies and organizations.
Schools (XX = Most Competitive)
|Due to school holidays, placements in schools are not available during the spring semester or over the summer.
Depending on the time of year, interns may have the opportunity to work at a London school in either a designated Key Stage or age group. Interns will work as teaching aides: assisting classroom teachers with day-to-day classes, school outings, extracurricular activities, one-on-one teaching, and working with small groups. There may also be opportunities to work within specialist areas in schools, such as those for children with physical disabilities or learning difficulties. Placements are competitive, so interns will need to demonstrate previous experience in a school or in an education setting with children.
REALITIES: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The structure and terminology of education in the UK may be very different from what you are used to. For example, “key stages”, “years” (instead of grades), and “marks” (instead of grades). The term “public school” refers to a fee-paying institution (government-funded schools are called state or comprehensive schools). College usually (but not always!) refers to sixth form, the last two years of high school when students take A levels, subject exams which are required to apply for university. You should prepare for an internship in this field by researching and familiarizing yourself with the vocabulary.
The school year begins in September and is divided into three terms which last approximately twelve weeks each. Students interning in a school will likely encounter at least a one-week school holiday when the school will be closed; alternative arrangements will be made for the time not available in the classroom.
A clean police check is required for most roles where a student will have access to vulnerable people (including children) or sensitive information. Students with previous criminal history, or history they do not wish to disclose to potential employers and the FIE Internship Team should carefully consider applying for an education internship.
- Familiarity with the British education system
- Previous experience working with children and/or students
- Commitment to, and knowledge of, various educational philosophies and pedagogical practices
- Patience, understanding, and ability to work with a variety of different learning levels and cultural backgrounds
- Flexibility and willingness to work on a variety of duties
- Clean police check
Relevant academic experience. Applicable majors include Child and Adolescent Studies, Psychology, Political Science, Sociology, Social Work, and Education
TIPS AND TRICKS: SHOWING YOU'RE A STRONG CANDIDATE
- For interns who wish to work with children, previous successful experience is required and should be highlighted on your CV
- Placements in school settings are limited, so take time in your personal statement to describe other aspects and areas of education which interest you
- If you have a future career goal which is education-related, make sure to explain this in your personal statement as employers are keen to host students who are committed to the field