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Is Brighton a good place to teach and live?

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Joined: 02 Jan 2013
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:05 pm    Post subject: Is Brighton a good place to teach and live? Reply with quote

About me: I have a BA and MA in English Literature and Creative Writing, a CELTA, and 4 years teaching experience in Spain.

Whilst I am happy in Spain and now have a wife and young daughter, I find myself dreaming about returning home to the UK. I am from the North West, but, if I moved home I would like to make a fresh start, and Brighton seems like a good place, as I imagine it has quite a lot of English academies and foreign students.

So, what are the job possibilities like? Is there year-round work, and what is the normal rate of pay. Also I would be interested in any University pre-sessional work, or even work in a school (children or teenagers)

Any advice would be gratefully received.
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Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 90
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You would need to consider that buying or renting in Brighton is extremely expensive- really not much cheaper than London prices (which are outrageous). It is a very desirable location for people.
You might be able to get onto a pre-sessional with an MA in Literature/Creative writing and a CELTA, if places are short-staffed but they generally seem to prefer an MA in Applied Linguistics/TESOL or a DELTA and a lot of people will have one or the other of these, so you may have a lot of more relevantly qualified people competing for jobs.
11 years ago, I did manage to get on a U.K. pre-sessional with a B.A., CELTA but also 3 years EAP type university teaching experience abroad, so it may help if you have that type of experience. Maybe other posters have got onto pre-sessionals with similar quals to yours and can advise.
It may be worth giving it a go, but perhaps think about doing the DELTA if you want to move into EAP teaching (I later did).
I don't know anything about language schools in Brighton.
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Joined: 02 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Londonlover. Although I mentioned post-sessional teaching, I would be just as interested in teaching in a private academy which teaches (I guess) young adults, with lots of Cambridge Exam Preparation classes and general English classes. I suppose post-sessional work would just be for a month or two in the summer? I agree that Brighton seems lovely but expensive. I would be happy to follow up on suggestions of other good cities to live and work as an English teacher?
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Joined: 30 Nov 2016
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't it just seasonal work in the UK at language academies with possibly London being the exception? Why not just build up your own private students where you can earn £30 an hour? A language academy would probably only offer £15 an hour (GROSS). Brighton is expensive to buy property in like Londonover says. I suggested moving to brighton to my brother but he said he doesn't want to live in a gay town. It's nice Brighton but I would assume limited as it's small. London would be where I would head for students. That's where all students want to go and study I think. Also you can do private tuition to UK students too such as GCSEs and A levels.
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Joined: 13 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


There are indeed quite a lot of language schools in Brighton, considering its size. However, as others have said, the pay will be low and cost of living high. If you have no other income, you will struggle to support your family there while working at a language academy. London wouldn't be much different (although there would be more choice of places to work, your income/costs would be similar).

If it absolutely has to be language academy work, you could look further afield at less 'cool' locales - Southampton or Portsmouth, say... The pay would be the same, but costs would be lower. That, or simply live far away from the city centre...

EAP (at universities, and at institutions more-or-less affiliated with them) will pay more - but it is difficult to get into anything permanent and full-time straight away, and will require a DELTA/Masters.

Although it may sound slightly scary and murky if you are unfamiliar to it, private tutoring is the best way to get (relatively) good money quickly and easily. While you will have to be self-employed, and take the financial ups-and-downs that go with that, as a private tutor with a full schedule you could be taking in £175-£200 a day - that would do... The downside, of course, is figuring out the rules of the game and getting yourself established - it would still take some time, as well as luck, effort and creativity to get set up with that.

If I were in your position, I think my plan of action would be to...

- Pick a place I liked, and that I would be happy for my daughter to be in (let's say Brighton).

- Arrange a job at a language academy there before settling down any sort of roots. With a CELTA, 4 years and a relevant BA/MA you'll find something before long. If there are no jobs, pick another city and go back to square one (above). A larger company such as St Giles, Stafford House or EF would give you more room for sideways/upwards career progression.

- Once job is sorted, rent a flat in a nice area which is affordable because it is miles away from the city centre - this is the compromise to make in order to balance income and costs. It may suck living in the middle of no-where with a horrible commute, but it is a temporary arrangement to make things work.

- While teaching EFL, slowly work on private tutoring on the side. Register on places like, advertising IELTS, EAP, and proof-reading to international students, and GCSE English tutoring to home students. Bear in mind 'proof-reading' often turns into doing international students' degrees for them - this is unethical, but can be very lucrative.

- Also, begin work on a part-time DELTA or Masters straight away. Once completed, they will pay for themselves - think of them as an investment.

- Look into examining with Cambridge and Trinity. They're not always recruiting, but once on board with them it can fit in with the ESL job and is extra money in the bank.

- Look into teaching EAP courses at the local university/ies. Try to get your foot in the door at a pre-sessional course, then see if there are any inroads into in-sessional or foundation courses.

- (There is also the option of FE colleges - although I wouldn't...)

- Go to events organised by institutions like English UK and the British Council. More than anything, these are networking opportunities.

- So, you have the EFL job to tide you over, potential options via EAP & private tutoring, possible examining work and advanced level qualifications on their way. Once things pick up, you're sorted.

- Even if EAP and tutoring don't pan out, with luck and gumption (and a DELTA) you can rise to management at a language academy. Pay would probably max out at around £35,000; that's not loads, but more than most people in the UK earn.

Plan B is in many ways more straightforward. Become a qualified secondary English teacher - there are options such as Teach First which might pay you as you train - although this is likely to be very little indeed. This option is more dependable and involves less uncertainty in the short term - although being a school teacher is a very different bag to what you are used to...

The best of luck
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think, overall, that if you really want to stay in England in the long term then doing a PGCE would be the best bet. Rather than surviving on privates, examining, or summer work you could really get settled with a proper job at a local secondary school..
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks party people for your excellent replies!

Regarding PGCE I know it is an option, but I am a bit wary of the actual job as a teacher in the UK school system. Working at private language academies (in Spain anyway) means little beurocracy, a working week of 20-30 hours a week, and when you know what you are doing, the job is fun and not too stressful. Also I only teach adults with a small number of teenagers and kids.

However, I know lots of teachers in the UK get super stressed by horrible kids, huge classes etc.

So, has anyone made the transition from Esol teacher to Secondary School teacher?
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Joined: 22 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two options would be: 1. to teach part-time at a secondary school 3-4 days a week. Less stress and more time off. Easier to get your foot in the door as well. 2. To work at an independent school full-time or part-time.

If you don't want to be a secondary school teacher it is understandable.
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Joined: 05 Feb 2014
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Location: Flashing my lights right behind you!

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to uni in Brighton back in the 90s and had a thoroughly great time. Got the drug habit and alcoholism that went with it LOL Smile

It's a very busy place. Loads of tourists in the summer months, both domestic and international, and it remains busy during winter too due to its lively nightlife, conferences etc.

There would be loads of work from May to September I would have thought, but not so much outside of that, although there are a lot of language schools there operating all year round.

If you don't mind living in the less popular areas like Whithawk, Moulsecombe, (I.e.council estates) then things will be cheaper. It's only 20-30 mins on a bus to get into the centre from most places.

Rents can be seriously high near the centre.

The only negative I really have about Brighton is that it does get more than its fair share of dog on a rope type people, and there is a lot of begging, homelessness, drug addiction around.
Too many vegetarian save the planet types too.

A nice little city though on the whole, it's population is about 300,000 including Hove and all the other areas. Great nightlife.

You won't save anything there.
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Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 73
Location: Next to Dick Dastardly!

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:02 pm    Post subject: Brighton, a true dump Reply with quote

I could never see the attraction of Brighton. I lived and worked there once and found it no better than many other UK towns of a similar size.

Yet a lot of the people who live there, be they 'natives' or 'incomers', seem to think that it's some sort of cultural Nirvana, a Barcelona by the beach. Shame to say that it's a bit of a dump though, like many small UK cities or large towns.

The only possible advantage it might hold is its coastal location, but the beach is far too pebbly to be enjoyable, and the sea too cold and uninviting for 10 months of the year. However, the prospect of free bathing and washing facilities could well tip the balance for the average poorly paid Tefler!

Is Regent still going there, in Hove? What a smelly sh1tehole that was!!
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