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Home2024 IssuesApril 2024Payback time: how one English school compensates CELTA fees

Payback time: how one English school compensates CELTA fees

Bell Educational Services have come up with a great deal for would-be EFL teachers this summer: sign up for their CELTA course in June and if you pass the course, and are offered a job on one of their summer courses, they will pay you back the cost of the CELTA course (£1700) when you complete the contract.

Asked to comment on this generous training offer, a spokesperson for Bell told us:

‘As a renowned teacher-training provider, Bell is in the fortunate position of being able to develop its own talent, to help our industry attract the teachers of the future, and to encourage people to take their first steps towards an exciting career in English Language Teaching.’

In case you are worried, if you take a summer job with them, the £1700 pay back doesn’t affect the rate of pay you will get! At £545 a week for newbie teachers, Bell is paying pretty much the median rate in this year’s market, where we have found one employer offering just £300 a week for residential workers covering teaching, activities and excursions, while another is offering £900.

Bell has two simple rules: if you don’t pass the course, they won’t offer you a job and if you don’t complete the contract, even if you have personal or family reasons for dropping out, they will not repay the course fee.

Well-informed Gazette readers may point out that any training mandated by an employer – from induction training through CPD to online safeguarding courses – is counted as working time and must be paid at minimum wage. That is true.

But in the case of the CELTA course, Bell is acting as course provider, not employer.  They haven’t offered you a job, though they may well do so if you pass the course!

Image courtesy of Zen Chung
Melanie Butler
Melanie Butler
Melanie started teaching EFL in Iran in 1975. She worked for the BBC World Service, Pearson/Longman and MET magazine before taking over at the Gazette in 1987 and also launching Study Travel magazine. Educated in ten schools in seven countries, she speaks fluent French and Spanish and rather rusty Italian.
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