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Agencies in Greece

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Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 9:25 pm    Post subject: Agencies in Greece Reply with quote

There are two agencies for Greece that I've come across - I'm pretty sure there aren't any others. One is Anglo-Hellenic, which has already been mentioned, the other Cambridge Teachers Recruitment, which you only really hear about over the summer.

To know what to expect, you really need to understand how the agencies work. As far as I'm aware, both are two-person outfits. They operate primarily in summer when the schools are shut as a way of making extra cash - throughout the year the people carry on their lives as school owners, DOSs etc. This is why you shouldn't expect much in the way of support throughout the school year.

The agencies basically make contact with schools, do an inspection, carry out interviews of teachers, and send CVs off to schools that want teachers. The important thing to remember is that their lists of client schools aren't in any way comprehensive - they deal with certain schools in certain areas around the country and provide teachers for them. The problem is they're not always exactly clear about this...they tend to say "I recommend school X in town Y, which I think is perfect for you." In fact, they just want to fill the vacancy with whoever they can, to get their 100 euros from the school. If you say you want to work in town Z, they might well say, "No, there aren't any good schools there", when in fact they just don't have dealings with schools there. Because of this, many teachers end up in pretty awful towns/villages in the middle of nowhere, expecting something much better. This is also often the teachers' fault for doing absolutely no research, and assuming that everywhere in Greece will be picturesque, close to beaches etc.

On the plus side, the agencies are free, and I think that from outside the country it's impossible to get anything better. The pay is low, but pay rates for teachers in Greece are set by the government, and you get the basic rate as well as a free flat, so it's not such a bad deal. I personally used an agency to get a job for the first year, sorted out a deal for myself for the second year. Contrary to my expections I actually ended up getting less money, because you have to sort out your own accommodation. Most of the schools the agencies use have their own flats etc. so they don't take this overhead out of your salary. I'm now in my third year here, and, knowing how to present myself, managed to sort out a massive wage increase and favourable conditions. But it takes time and experience to do this.

Overall I'd say that the agencies aren't perfect, but from outside Greece they're pretty much your only option. Internet searches haven't in my experience yielded results (someone mentioned PALSO - forget that as well, from my experience) - most schools recruit either locally or through the agencies. Just take what the agencies say with a pinch of salt, and do proper THOROUGH research about the school you're offered before going there. Believe me, the agencies find teachers for schools in some absolutely awful towns.
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