Would you like to work on our Course? You must have NATIVE ENGLISH-SPEAKER competence with appropriate TEFL qualifications and experience*. Read on….

Background information

Vacational Studies Courses have run for 48 years. Most students come to us on recommendation from parents whose children have already been with us or who are the children of children who were with us in the '70s and '80s. We are accredited by the British Council and are members of English UK (formerly ARELS). We have high standards of professionalism and expect the same from staff. Our reputation is of the greatest importance. Parents are confident that their children will have a developmental summer, socially and linguistically.

The students

We have a full programme of teaching, sporting and social activities. With our total staff:student ratio of about 1:8, we can provide the pastoral care that comes from supervision that is as complete as possible. The Courses are international with most European countries represented. We require a letter of recommendation for all students, so they tend to be well-motivated. Many return from year to year. As the Courses are fully residential, there are good opportunities to get to know the children and do various kinds of work with them.

Accommodation and meals

The posts are resident. Basic accommodation is provided at no charge, as are all meals, except meals on excursions.

The teaching

Teaching takes place on five days a week, including Saturdays. There are four 45-minute lessons in the mornings and one 30-minute 'Digest' period after lunch. Classes are graded according to ability with a teacher:student ratio no greater than 1:16. We use books such as "Cutting Edge", 'Total English', ' Energy 2′, ' Over to You', ' Smart Elementary', ' Matters', ' Vista' and ' Panorama 2′ as textbooks. We also have a variety of supplementary material covering the range lower-intermediate to advanced. Much of the work is a special 'Task-Based Learning' programme involving the scripting and producing of a short film for which we have a special Programme of Work. Teachers may also include their own appropriate materials and methods.

Extra-curricular activities

No involvement in the sports/social programme is required. Any involvement is voluntary. Teaching staff will, however, be required to accompany excursions and shopping trips on a rota basis. Teaching staff will meet children at Heathrow Airport on arrival day and return them there on the last day. All staff assume the normal pastoral responsibilities that are part of boarding school life and are allocated to one of our four 'Houses'.


All staff have 1 duty day + 2 x ½ day duties each week, or the equivalent. The 'Duty Day' is described in the 'Notes for Staff 2021'.

Time Off

Teaching staff are free to be away from the School when they are not teaching, supervising a trip or 'on Duty'.

Collection and return service

Teaching staff meet students at Heathrow on the first day and check them in when they return. Some will accompany students to Heathrow at the end of the Course and may depart from there.

Qualifications expected

Applicants must be graduates and hold qualifications such as CTEFLA/CELTA; Trinity College London Certificate in TESOL; PGCE in English/modern languages with TEFL subsidiary; university 'certificate in TEFL' courses. A qualification must be externally validated by a reputable examination body (usually a university or recognised examination board); there must be at least six hours' supervised teaching practice (i.e. teaching practice where a qualified assessor observes the trainee teacher teaching real TEFL students and gives feedback on the trainee's performance); the course must contain at least 100 hours of TEFL input. PGCE or equivalent qualifications which lead to qualified teacher status in the UK in a subject related to English Language teaching (i.e. modern languages or English) and for an appropriate age group may be considered to be appropriate qualifications for teaching EFL to juniors. (Online Courses that are not externally validated by a reputable examination body, a university or a recognised examination board are not regarded as acceptable qualifications.)

Dates, duration and pay – Teachers

We offer employment for a period of four weeks. Arrival is 10.00 on 10 July and departure is 15.00 on 7 August. Pay is £2050.00 (two thousand and fifty pounds) for the duration of the employment. Pay for the Senior Teacher is £2350.00 (two thousand three hundred and fifty pounds). For returning staff, there is a 10% addition in the second summer and a 15% addition in a third and subsequent summer. (The Senior Teacher posts are filled for 2021). Payment is by bank transfer at the end of the course. If they wish, staff can be paid a 25% advance at the end of the first week, to be deducted from the final balance. As employment is temporary, if you affirm that the following is correct - 'this is my first job IN THE UK since 6 April 2020 and I have not been receiving taxable Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, taxable Incapacity Benefit, State or Occupational Pension', we are not required to deduct PAYE from staff at source. NI is deducted at the prevailing rate.

Weekly hours of work will vary as per your rota, usually between 35 and 38. If you find you are likely to work more than this, please see us and we shall arrange to adjust your hours or offer time-off in lieu or additional salary.


Ideally, applicants will have experience with the 10-18 age-range in residential situations. An interest in participating in the corporate life of the Course is appreciated. If this appeals, please complete the application form. Please read 'Notes for Staff 2021' which describes the responsibilities in more detail. If your application is of interest, we shall contact your referees and, if these are satisfactory, we shall invite you for interview. If you are overseas, we shall suggest interview via skype. If you are in this country, we shall invite you to Newbury. We pay your rail fare. If appointed, your acceptance of an offered post assumes the acceptance of the contents of the information on this page and the contents of the 'Notes for Staff 2021' and sign the contract of employment. As there is responsibility for and substantial access to children, we run DBS checks. Proof of qualifications is required – as is an explanation for any gaps in CVs. Before arrival, staff complete an online Safeguarding/'Prevent' course. On arrival, all staff are required to sign a declaration that they are not unfit to be working with children and young people aged 10-18.

The EU Working Hours Regulations 1998 Opt-Out Agreement

As this is a boarding school and hours are irregular, staff are asked to sign this document. It is also in the Contract.

A note on Work Permits and why we cannot employ non-EU teachers

If you do not hold an EU passport (or have a dispensation to take temporary work as a Commonwealth citizen), you are not permitted to work in the UK unless you possess a Work Permit. An employer has to obtain a Work Permit from the Home Office to allow a non EU citizen to work in the UK. The employer must prove that EU labour is not available for the job. As EU labour is available for EFL teaching posts, we do not apply for Work Permits. *If you do not fulfil all the criteria stated on this page, we shall not take your application further. Most online TEFL Courses do not satisfy the external validation criterion.

Teacher Development

As part of its aim to have a motivated and well-qualified teaching staff, Vacational Studies occasionally supports staff on programmes to enhance their qualifications. It is solely within the gift of the Director and the Academic Manager to initiate this suggestion to a teacher Vacational Studies wishes to cultivate.

A request from a former VacStuds student

Albertine Kronenberg from the Netherlands, has asked me to publicise a charity she is connected with – 'Happy Kids Centre' - in the city of Bhaktapur, Nepal. She has asked me to refer those ESL qualified who apply for jobs at VacStuds to the relevant page of the website of the HKC (https://happykidscenter.org/join-our-team/).

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