Do International Teachers Need a Termination Protection Clause in Their Contracts?

Teachers at International School Anaco Venezuela, International School of Port of Spain Trinidad, and other schools around the world, have reported their contracts were terminated during the last weeks of school due to “budgetary cut backs”. Termination came without warning and left these teachers, some of which are teaching families,  jobless for the upcoming school year.

ISR asserts that schools engaging in the practice of stringing teachers along, secretly  knowing they may not need them after summer vacation, are schools without a conscience.  We understand it’s hard to find teachers after the recruiting fairs are over, but jeopardizing  the well being of teachers and families for selfish reasons demonstrates a complete lack of ethical substance. Forewarned is one thing, but being deceived until the last minute is an entirely different matter.

Sudden contract termination has become more prevalent as the economy worsens and our hunch is the excuse has also been used to terminate teachers the administration simply feels are not “team players”.  Just recently, Emirates International School terminated an entire group of teachers hired at the Search and ECIS Fairs in London. Is it time for International Teachers to add a protection clause to their contracts with an early termination buy-out figure included? We think so!

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6 thoughts on “Do International Teachers Need a Termination Protection Clause in Their Contracts?

  1. and sometimes it’s just a fact of life. Schools can not control financial issues or sudden political violence any more than teachers can control the fact that sometimes things happen that alter their plans to return to an international job. How many schools get stuck filling positions at the last minute with lesser quality professionals because of sudden medical, emotional or personal issues that arise making it impossible for a teacher to fulfill his/her commitments. No it’s not fair and yes, schools should be transparent. But every year there are far more teachers who abandon ship at the last minute, than those being let go for financial reasons. It seems to me that it works both ways–both should be held accountable.


  2. It appears some schools and even some recruiters consider teachers disposable cogs in their moneymaking agendas. Let’s be honest, a teacher would be fired if they announced their variable rate mortgage back home just went up and they couldn’t afford to continue at their current job because they now need to earn more money or loose their home. Yet, when a school cries financial woes, it’s perfectly acceptable to cast off faculty members with no warning, leaving these teachers jobless and with no prospects for employment.

    After reading many reviews on the ISR web site it is clear the new trend is to use the financial excuse to axe faculty up to, and including, the last day of school. Yes, we do need protection from unscrupulous school and recruiters willing to turn a blind eye in the name of profit. It’s time to start asking for contract termination protection in the form of a cash settlement should we be fired after a certain point in the school year.


  3. This happened at several schools in Asia. Teachers were terminated due to low enrollment and they had all signed contracts for the upcoming year. The teachers I know of were informed the last week of school, or in some cases, as soon as students were dismissed.


  4. I hope these schools did not ask the teachers to commit themselves for the following year in January as many schools do. It’s inconvenient, but there are still jobs to be had in August and September, so it’s not the end of life and career to be bumped by such an unethical school. Their names should be made known though.


  5. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, there is also a school doing this. The owners/managers arbitrarily dismiss staff at the end of almost every term and end of the year; usually on the last day and at the last minute, and have done this for the past 4 years. The turnover this year is over half of the staff, many dismissed, the rest leaving under duress. Every senior and middle manager has left and there is only one Contract remaining. All key Secondary Heads of Departments have left. International teachers need protection against such schools.


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