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Teachanywhere is the official UK provider of Teachers for the Abu Dhabi Education Council

If you are interested in applying see a list of upcoming interview events on our Events page.

The ADEC programme places qualified/certified native English-speaking Primary teachers and Secondary English teachers into state schools in Abu Dhabi. Teachers are hired and managed by the Abu Dhabi Education Council and work with local teachers teachers, teaching local children. Teachers are hired by ADEC and not a specific school, and will receive their school assignments upon arrival.

Candidates must have a minimum of 2 years recent post-qualification experience at the time the post commences, and teachers must possess valid state teaching qualifications for Primary, or Secondary (Middle / High School) English from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada or South Africa for Primary or Secondary age ranges.

All candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Teaching qualifications for Primary, or for Secondary English such as a Bachelors of Education, a degree+ PGCE/PGDE or HDE. Whilst experience of teaching children for whom English is not the first language is helpful, a TEFL certificate, CELTA or DELTA alone is not sufficient teacher training.
  • 2 years of recent post-qualification experience teaching the relevant subjects/age levels
  • Native English speaker/English mother tongue from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada or South Africa
  • Married teachers with dependents are accepted but children's school fees are not provided for by the employment package. Find out how this will affect you
  • Because it is illegal for unmarried partners to live together in the UAE, these posts are not suitable for teachers with unmarried partners who will accompany them.
  • Due to age-related visa restrictions, this programme is open to candidates under 59 years of age at the time of arrival in the UAE
  • You will be working in state schools so cultural sensitivity, adaptability and personal resilience are required.

Salary and benefits

Teachers are paid on a scale depending on the number of years of post-qualification experience and education. The salary scale ranges from 162,000 AED per annum for a teacher with a Bachelors degree and 3 years of recognised experience, to 234,000 AED per annum for a teacher with a Masters degree and 12 years of recognised experience. In addition, teachers get an additional month per year of service, paid out at the end of service at the salary you achieve during your final year. All salaries and benefits are tax free in the United Arab Emirates.

A rented expatriate style apartment is provided for each teacher, commensurate to the size of the family up to a 3 bedroom apartment for a teacher with 2 dependent children. Furniture or a furniture allowance is also provided.

Flights or a flight allowance is provided yearly for a teacher and approved dependents.

Gulf-wide medical insurance coverage is provided to all teachers for the duration of their contract, as well as emergency medical coverage outside of the Gulf States as per the approved Abu Dhabi government?s medical plan.

Contracts are 2 years in duration and are renewable. Per UAE regulation for all schools, teachers who do not fulfil their contracts can be subject to a temporary work ban within the UAE which can adversely affect their ability to seek other employment within the UAE for the duration of the ban.

Background of the programme

The government in Abu Dhabi has embarked on a large scale school reform project and is currently in the second year of an 8 year programme of change. Whereas previously, classes had been taught only in Arabic using traditional methods, a new curriculum has been introduced that is taught mainly in English using outcomes based methods.

Before this reform project, Advisory teachers were brought in to about a third of the schools to assist the locally employed teachers to adjust to the new curriculum, new language of instruction and new methods, and these efforts have been largely successful.reformWith the implementation of ADEC?s new reform project, native English speaking teachers are being hired by the government to teach core subjects at primary and English at secondary levels within the state school system and to work alongside locally employed teachers of other subjects.

What to expect

State schools in Abu Dhabi are very similar to state schools in other countries. Some are quite well resourced, others are still developing resources. Most schools conform to the typical layout, whereby air-conditioned classrooms ring a central, shaded courtyard and play area. Class sizes average about 20 at the Kindergarten level, to and average of between 25 and 27 at Primary and Secondary levels

It is important to note that teachers are hired by the school system, not a particular school. Therefore teacher contracted by ADEC can be posted to any school within Abu Dhabi. Teachers will not know their exact school until arrival. Therefore, this programme is not suitable for teachers who have very specific location requirements.


Q: What will I be teaching and what is a typical timetable?

A: What you will teach depends on the age range. Early Years teachers (ages 3-5) will team teach with a locally hired teacher, covering all subjects. Primary teachers (ages 5-10) for Grades 1 to 4 English, Maths, Science and Integrated ICT to two classes of children each day. Secondary teachers will be teaching English only. For more information, see the links below.

Grades 1 to 4 typical timetable

Grades 10 to 12 typical timetable

Q: When do the positions start and what is the school year?

A: The school year in the UAE runs from September until June, but teachers will be expected to arrive in the UAE in late August for orientation. The new 2013/14 academic calendar has not yet been agreed so exact dates are not yet available, but teachers should expect to arrive in late August and work until the end of June or early July.

Q: What is the difference between teaching in the ADEC Teacher programme and teaching in an international school in Abu Dhabi?

A: There are many similarities but also many differences between teaching abroad in a state school through the licensed teacher programme and teaching in an international school. Both kinds of schools will be located across Abu Dhabi, and driving past them, it is often hard to tell one from another.

In the case of international schools, you are employed by a private school which is usually for-profit and you teach a curriculum that is not the same as that of the host country. Most international schools use a US, UK, Australian, NZ, Canadian or other international curriculum. In international schools, the Principal/Head Teacher is employed by the owner or governing board and in the case of Broadly International and Original Expat schools, is usually an expatriate. With Local International schools, we find that Principals can be either expatriates or locally trained educational leaders. The children attending international schools will usually be a mix of expatriates and locals, though in some Local International schools the vast majority of the student population will be host nationals. Teachers in international schools will be mostly expatriates. Employment packages vary from 7000 AED/month to 14,000 AED/month with a 2 or 3 year contract, an end of contract bonus, flights yearly and shared or single housing.

In the ADEC programme, you will be one of a small number (usually between 5 and 8) of western expatriate teachers within the school and your Principal will usually be an Emirati. Importantly, because you are hired by ADEC and not the school, you will not know the exact school in which you will be working until arrival. This concept is quite familiar for North American teachers who are similarly hired by a school district rather than a school, but it will be less familiar to teachers of other nationalities. Locations can be in the greater Abu Dhabi City area, in the Al Ain area or in a rural setting.

The curriculum will be the new UAE curriculum, which is broadly based on that of New South Wales, Australia. Staff in the ADEC programme are hired by the UAE government and work directly for the Abu Dhabi Education Council. Children who attend state schools in Abu Dhabi are usually Emiratis with a mix of other Arab nationals. Employment packages vary from 13,500 AED/month for a teacher of 3 years experience with a Bachelors of Education to 19,500 AED/month for a teacher with 12 years of experience possessing a Masters degree. Also included are an end of service bonus of 1 month of your final salary per year of service, 2 year contracts, flights yearly and non-shared housing. Medical coverage is gulf wide and of a good standard, with emergency medical coverage worldwide.

So what's the same? Housing and the non-financial benefits such as flights yearly and medical coverage are approximately the same between the two types of schools.

What's different? The teaching environment and curricula are the biggest differences. Teachers in the ADEC programme are fully immersed in the local culture both in terms of staff you work with and the children you teach. If you are culturally sensitive and open to learning about different kinds of people, you will find that you will make friends with host nationals more quickly, and might be invited to their houses for dinner or for holidays, or even to a local wedding. Emiratis are very welcoming and gracious hosts, but they expect that in return you learn about their culture and conform to local sensitivities.

The school year worked by teachers in the ADEC programme is set by the Abu Dhabi government and holidays are based on the Islamic calendar. This means that teachers cannot expect to have Christian holidays such as Easter and Christmas as holidays if they do not fall on Islamic holidays or school breaks. However, it should be noted that currently ADEC have adopted a 3 term calendar which means that there is currently a 1-2 week break spanning Christmas.

Because the curriculum will undoubtedly be different than that of your country, when you return your curriculum knowledge with be 2 or more years out of date. Whilst you will have gained experience teaching children for whom English is not the first language and will have learnt the flexibility and adaptability necessary to cope with total immersion in a foreign school system, teachers entering the ADEC programme must make sure that it meets their long term as well as their short term needs.

Another big difference is that teachers in the ADEC Teacher programme will not know their exact work location until arrival whereas teachers who are hired by a specific international school will know their exact location when they sign the contract.

Finally, the salaries of ADEC teachers are usually 20 to 40% higher than for teachers of similar experience at nearby international schools, in recognition of the increased personal flexibility and adaptability required for these posts. But we do not encourage teachers to join the ADEC programme for purely financial reasons, as the programmes are quite different in many other ways.

The process

The application process is quite fixed and inflexible so please make sure you read it carefully:

  1. Apply by sending a CV and application form to lt@teachanywhere.com
  2. If you have not filled one out, you will be asked to complete an application form.
  3. You will be telephone screened by a member of Teachanywhere
  4. Copies of the following documents must be supplied to us by scan/email or fax:
    • Degree and teaching certificate
    • Passport
    • An electronic photo
    • Criminal record check
  5. This programme requires references on your school letterhead to cover the past 2 years.
  6. You will be invited to personal interview with a representative of ADEC - the Abu Dhabi Education Council.
  7. Offer/contract/mobilisation

Listen to our podcast with a licensed teacher currently working in Abu Dhabi.

"...the last few months have allowed me to experience a totally new and fascinating culture. It has given me a lovely lifestyle!"

ADEC teacher in Abu Dhabi