Ex-teachers have a wealth of options when it comes to business ownership – these franchisees explain why they decided to take the plunge and run their own companies
In April 2019, an investigation by the National Education Union shed light on the high percentage of teachers turning their backs on the education industry. With continued budget cuts, increased workload and mounting pressures from Ofsted inspectors and parents alike, it’s no wonder a whopping 32,375 new teachers have left the state school system in the last five years alone.
The study is based on responses from 86,000 school staff – more than a quarter of which (26 per cent) admit they intend on leaving the sector in the next five years. But what career options lay ahead of those who might have spent 20-plus years stood in front of a classroom of students?
“I’m confident that the earning potential will far outweigh what I’d earned when I was teaching on my own”
Former education professionals come with a whole host of attributes required to run a profitable and successful business, something these individuals are quickly wising up to. Edouard Wood’s experience in teaching has benefited his future entrepreneurial endeavours in more ways than one. Having now launched a franchise with children’s multi-award-winning music education company, The Strings Club, he is able to draw from his 20 years’ experience as a violin teacher.
“I’d worked in a freelance capacity for a number of years before starting my own franchise last summer, so although I had a good idea of what it takes to work for yourself, the franchise model really suits my lifestyle. The level of support I get from my franchisor is invaluable,” said Edouard. “There’s less of this ‘us and them’ mentality that you come across so often in teaching. My business is growing steadily and I’m confident that the earning potential will far outweigh what I’d earned when I was teaching on my own.”
Tutor Doctor franchisee, Roger Kennedy, worked as an English teacher for eight years at schools across London before starting his own business in 2017. “I became disillusioned with certain elements of the role and the constantly changing policies,” said Roger. “It almost became that the evidence of achievements were favoured in place of genuine knowledge and interaction of your students. Teachers want to make a difference and see students’ progress but it’s being taken away from them.”
Aniruddh Gupta, CEO of UK-based nursery franchise, Kido School, has sourced a whole host of talent from the former teachers who have approached him regarding their franchise opportunity. “Running a nursery can be incredibly complex. Having knowledge of those complexities and challenges as a former teacher means you can navigate them much more easily. Teachers at Kido also appreciate the vastly different working environment and culture where they can still pursue their passion for early years education.”
“I finally have the time for my family”
However, not all former teaching professionals are opting to continue in the education field when investing in their own business. Nicola Whybrow, former school teacher from Oxfordshire, now operates a House of Colour franchise. She puts much of her success down to the skills picked up during her 12 years as a teacher and the lack of restrictions in her new career.
“There are so many transferrable skills linked with teaching that are relevant to business management - communication, time-keeping, patience and resilience,” explained Nicola. “Despite leaving the education industry to start my own colour and image consultancy franchise in 2017, I find myself referring back to my teacher training regularly. But when I was working as a teacher, my time was so stretched that I hardly had the time to realise I was using this skillset. Now, I have the time to advance my professional skills and build a credible and stable future for myself. It’s poles apart from my teaching career.
“I can work eight days a month and bring home more money than I did working five-day weeks as a teacher. I finally have the time for my family, the money for nice, long holidays and quality of life I could have never imagined I would have,” explained Nicola.
Whether you choose to stay in the education field or crave something entirely different, former teachers have a wealth of options in business ownership. Explore these educational brands and more at The International Franchise Show on 3-4 April 2020, which will host over 200 franchise opportunities at ExCeL London. Visit thefranchiseshow.co.uk to register for free.