You are here

Seven reasons to choose a teaching job in an Ark school

Sunday 17th May 2015

Seven reasons to choose a teaching job in an Ark school

May is a hectic time for teachers. Not only are they preparing students for end of year exams, it's also one of the busiest times of the year for recruitment, as teachers seek to explore their career options. With 31 schools in our network, Ark has a variety of exciting roles to fill, ranging from classroom to leadership positions.  We invite you to consider seven compelling reasons to become a teacher at an Ark school: 

1) We're different. Really.

It's all about our ethos. Ark is a non profit organisation that believes every child should have the chance to go to university or on to the career of their choice. All of Ark's schools are in areas of economic deprivation or historic underachievement. We work where we're needed and we don't have  a "one-size-fits-all" answer. Instead, we are guided by our six pillars in how to make a difference in young people's lives. And our approach is working - our schools have achieved some of the best results in the country. 

2) We are a great career development choice.

We recognise that it's the staff in our schools who really transform pupils’ lives. That’s why we help everyone to be the very best they can be. We offer twice the standard number of training days to teachers throughout the year. There are also opportunities for online training and bespoke learning and mentoring programmes. If you're ambitious, we have a programme called "Aspiring to Headship" which identifies teachers with leadership potential, and helps them develop the skills they need to become a great head or principal. At Walworth Academy, for example, Ofsted says that “high-quality training is the norm for newly qualified teachers or those with many years’ experience.” Whatever stage you are at in your career, we will support you.

3) We're a network, and that's a good thing. 

Ark has 31 schools, in Birmingham, Hastings, London and Portsmouth, with four more opening in September and more coming in the future. Being part of a network means a large number of career choices and opportunities, but it also represents multiple opportunities to connect with and learn from others. “Teaching changes very quickly and you need to keep on top of it,” says Samuel Cole, a teacher at Ark Tindal Primary.  Twice a year we have specialised 'hub days' that facilitate shared learning and networking among our staff. “The hub days help me to build up a network of teachers to work with in ICT and computing," says Amir Fakhoury, head of ICT at Ark Academy. “I wouldn’t have the ability to share resources otherwise." 

4) We're international. 

In addition to operating schools in the UK, Ark runs education, child protection and health programmes internationally. Since 2011,  we've partnered with PEAS, an organisation running 26 secondary schools in rural Uganda and Zambia. And Ark is opening a primary school in South Delhi this summer, our first step in building a small network of schools in India.  With our Ark Fellows programme, you have the chance to have an impact beyond your classroom. Way beyond. Ark Fellows is an opportunity for talented and ambitious teachers to work in our international schools or partners for a two-week, expenses-paid placement. 

5) You won't be bored. Ever. 

We know that an excellent education means more than just great exam results. It means building pupils’ resilience and character, helping them to be ready for the world. We encourage pupils from different Ark schools to come together and enjoy a wide variety of enrichment events, and that means opportunities for teachers to participate as well. We have spelling bees, debating contests, sports days and maths 'wrangles,' and it all culminates in the Ark Music Gala, a huge event held at a world famous venue where dozens of schools and hundreds of students perform pieces ranging from Adele to Beethoven. See it for yourself: 


6) We're not just an organisation, we're also a  family. 

We don't mean that we're going to invite you over for Christmas dinner (although it'd be lovely to have you). Even better -  Ark develops, works with, and partners with organisations that share our ethos and goals. Mathematics Mastery is an innovative maths teaching framework that is already being used by more than 100 schools.  The Future Leaders Trust provides training for headteachers and Teaching Leaders develops outstanding middle leaders for schools. We also work with STIRFrontlineTeachFirst and others. If you're interested in educational excellence and innovation, there's no better place to be than a teacher at Ark as we’re always looking at new ways to do things. This year we are launching a new venture to transform the way data is used for school improvement, and a new curriculum and training programme – English Mastery – to promote a love of literacy and literature. 

7) It's all about the kids. 

You probably guessed that this would be the final reason to become a teacher at an Ark school. But it's true. Says Pippa, an 18 year-old sixth former from Ark 6th form East Sussex: "The teachers here have been brilliant. They’re very confident in me which makes me confident in myself. They want every student to be able to get the best out of their life."