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Frequently Asked Questions

About us

What type of organisation is Inspiring Teachers?

Inspiring Teachers is a UK charity and membership organisation. Founded by teachers, we exist to fulfil the promise of teaching and expand access to quality education, because every child, regardless of where they are born has a right to a quality education, that allows them to thrive. We believe every teacher deserves the support they need to make a greater impact. We help them get it. Great teaching, overpowers inequity. To us, great teaching represents humanity at its very best and we believe every child deserves it.

Who are the beneficiaries of our work?

We are incredibly grateful for the generous commitments of time and financial contributions by our Fellows and other supporters. Thanks to these, we can make our programs available to teachers and improve educational opportunities for our beneficiaries — children in low-resource contexts. Our programs are extremely rewarding, and teachers who participate grow as teachers and leaders, but this is always to the end of improving outcomes for our children.

How does the organisation work financially?

Fellows should understand that most teachers we support and who participate in our programs are unable to and do not make financial contributions to our work. For example, in 2019, 2013 teachers participated (521 international Fellows and 1492 local teachers) and while some who could make charitable contributions to support the program, others - mostly in host countries - did not.

This model, where participants are invited but not obligated to contribute, enables us to expand equitable access to professional development in low-resource settings. We raise donations and ask our Fellows to contribute membership fees so we can operate our programs. Local teachers who participate aren’t asked to contribute membership fees.


Where do Fellowships take place?

We currently work in 11 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Fellows can choose to work with teachers from rural Uganda and spend their weekends on Safari, or with teachers from urban Malaysia and enjoy a beach getaway weekend. There is something for everyone.

How long is an Inspiring Teachers Fellowship?

Each Fellowship is between 3 and 4 weeks long. We have Fellowships in January, June, July and August each year, to coincide with the summer holiday break for teachers in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, US and Canada.

How many places are there on each Fellowship?

Most Fellowships are made up of teams of 15-25 teachers. If your first choice Fellowship is full we always aim to offer you an interview for a different Fellowship. Every year, we run Fellowships at varying times and in a number of different locations, so there are always a number of options, should your first choice be full. To see our current available go to our Fellowships page. Places do start to fill 3-4 months before the start date, so if you’re thinking of applying, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible, you can always change or defer at a later date.

Can I travel independently before/after a Fellowship?

Yes! Many of our Fellows take advantage of this. Definitely speak to your team leader about this as they will be able to let you know about other Fellows who are staying on or arriving early to travel. Posting in your team’s Facebook group and on the WhatsApp group is a good way to get a group together to do this. Travelling outside of the Fellowship dates will be at your own risk and Inspiring Teachers doesn’t accept any liability for this.

What's the average age of Fellows?

There is a really diverse age range of Fellows and different amounts of experience. We think that this really enhances the professional development opportunity and the overall experience. We have Fellows who have completed one year of teaching to senior leaders and head teachers. If you’d like to speak to one of our team about your suitability, contact us or speak to one of our team on LiveChat.

What does a typical day on a Fellowship look like?

All our Fellowships are slightly different. In some locations, Fellows will spend most days in schools conducting lesson observations, and leading intensive instructional coaching; supporting teachers to master a variety of new teaching strategies. In contexts where schools are closed, Fellows run training conferences with groups of teachers. Our conference days typically run from around 9 am to 4 pm, with some variation to fit around school hours and the availability of our teachers where necessary. At the end of every day, we run a group debrief session to reflect on what went well that day, and then plan sessions for the following day. In the evenings we typically have dinner together and keep evenings free for Fellows to explore the surrounding area, organize their own quiz nights, talent shows or take some time out from the group.

How do Fellowships differ from one another?

In terms of the overall objective and general model, all our Fellowships are very similar. However, depending on the country and the type of partner we work with, every Fellowship has its own unique objectives and context.

Teachers trained - In some Fellowship locations we work with only primary school teachers, in some, we work with both primary and secondary teachers, and in others, we work solely with lead teachers or headteachers.

Training model - Depending on the time of year, our program will be in schools model, a conference only model, or a combination of the two.

Partnership - We have worked in some locations since 2012, which means the programs there have become significantly more robust than in places we only recently started working in. We also work with different types of partners in each location, from ministries of education to low-cost private school networks, to NGO’s and organizations that are part of the Teach for All network.

Environment - Many of our Fellowships focus on supporting schools in rural areas where classrooms and resources are very limited, whereas some Fellowships take place in more urban contexts where teachers have access to a wide range of resources.

Schools - In some locations, we work with only low-cost private schools, in others we work with both, and in some, we work only with government schools. Also, in some locations, we partner with only primary schools.

Will I get any training before the Fellowship?

Fellows complete a series of pre-Fellowship training modules before their Fellowship. This training is designed to help teachers think about education in a limited-resource context and work with teachers from a different cultural background to your own. We appreciate that our Fellows are all teachers with busy schedules, that’s why all pre-Fellowship training can be completed online and at a time and pace that suits each Fellow. When Fellows arrive in-country, we ensure that all Fellows have a thorough induction and orientation to help answer all the unknowns and make sure all Fellows are informed and confident about their role.

What's the accommodation like?

Accommodation varies across the Fellowships but will always be safe and secure and have mosquito nets when required. There may be some nights in hotels, others in guesthouses or in dorms and even the excitement of a camping adventure. Your team leaders will provide more information before you leave on your accommodation and the specific facilities available. It’s worth noting there are often options to upgrade to a private room or ensuite in many of the places we stay. Please discuss these options with your Team Leader once you’ve been accepted onto a Fellowship.

Do you cater for dietary requirements?

This shouldn’t be a problem and many of our Fellows who’ve been gluten and dairy intolerant managed just fine. Make sure you mention any specific dietary requirements or food allergies in your application form and your team leader can discuss it during the interview. Depending on your specific dietary requirement, some Fellowships may have more flexibility in the catering arrangements so we’ll guide you towards the Fellowship that will suit you best.

What is the food like?

In some countries the food is provided by the accommodation and in other countries you will go out for meals. Wherever you go there will be a great chance to try traditional food, especially when you visit schools to support the teachers. Your team leaders will provide more information about the food in the detailed pre-departure pack. If you have any specific dietary requirements or food allergies, please make sure you include this information in your application form or during your phone interview.


Am I eligible to apply for a Fellowship?

Anyone who has a qualified teacher status in their country can apply. We look for teachers who are passionate about education, open-minded, hard-working, resilient, a team player, flexible and fun. No previous experience in international development is required. During your interview, you will have the chance to tell us why you want to take part and why you think you’d be a good addition to the team.

When do applications open and close?

Applications are live now and operate on a rolling basis. Visit Our Fellowships page to see which Fellowships are currently available. Due to the popularity of all our Fellowships, groups do fill up. If you’re interested in taking part we recommend submitting an application as soon as possible. If you would like to apply for a Fellowship that you can’t see on the website, please contact us help you with your application.

Can I speak to someone before applying?

Yes of course. You can send us any questions you have through LiveChat, give us a call on and arrange to speak to one of our team leaders.

What's the application process?

The first step is to complete our online application form here. The form should only take you 15 minutes to complete. You’ll be asked to tell us about your teaching experience, and your motivations to join a Fellowship team. After submitting your application, you will receive an email from us within 2 days inviting you to book a time for an interview call with one of your Team Leaders. The aim of that call is to get to know you and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you have about the Fellowship. We encourage you to book it in as soon as you can, as places on our Fellowships do fill up quickly. After the interview, you will find out within 2-3 days if you have been offered a place on the team. You will then have 7 days to consider if you would like to accept the offer and secure your place by paying your membership deposit.

What do we look for in a Fellow?

We look for adaptable, creative and responsible teachers with sound pedagogical knowledge. Because every Fellowship involves working closely with other Fellows and in-country teachers, it’s important our Fellows are good team players. Initiative, resilience and cultural sensitivity are all attributes we admire and that are key to teachers becoming effective Fellows.

Is there an age limit?

There is no age limit. We have worked with newly qualified teachers after their first year of teaching through to head teachers of 20+ years of experience.

Does it matter where I'm from?

Of course not! Our Fellows come from all around the world including UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and everywhere in between. Many teach in international schools all over the world. Having teams of Fellows from so many different educational backgrounds is something that makes the experience so unique.

Can I apply with a friend or in a group?

We often work with small groups of colleagues on our Fellowships and coming as a pair or trio with a friend or two is a popular option. We have a referral programme that means you and your friends will all receive a discount on your programme fee. To add friends discounts visit your portal and go to the ‘Refer a Friend’ section.

Can I change Fellowship after applying?

You can change after you apply. Our Team Leaders will discuss their Fellowship with you on the interview call and you will be able to decide on that call if another Fellowship would be better suited to you. From there, our Team Leaders will arrange for you to have a follow up interview with the Team Leaders of your preferred Fellowship.

Do you accept couples?

We do accept couples, we’ve already welcomed a number of married couples on Fellowships. It’s always proved to be hugely successful, both for the group dynamic and for the couples to be able to share this amazing experience together.

Why can't I see the Fellowship I'd like to apply for?

Please get in touch if you’d like to apply for a Fellowship that is not yet listed. Not all 2022 Fellowships are live on the website yet. Please email info@inspiringteachers.org or talk to our team on LiveChat.

Safe Travel

Do I need vaccinations?

You will need to visit your doctor or travel clinic before you leave to make sure you have the right vaccinations. Some of the Fellowship countries will require a yellow fever certificate on arrival. Inspiring Teachers is not able to give you a list of vaccination but will support you. Use this link as a source of information for UK advice: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home

Do I need travel insurance?

As part of the code of conduct, one thing we require all Fellows to purchase is a full travel insurance policy. In the event of you having an accident or injury during your trip, your travel insurance will cover you for most medical care. It is important that when you purchase your travel insurance you read the terms carefully. If you are considering any of the excursions on your Fellowship you will need to check carefully that your insurance company covers for the activities before you purchase your policy.

Do I need a Visa?

Your Team Leaders will pass on customs and immigration information to help you arrange your visa if required. In most cases, you can purchase a visa on arrival, in some locations it needs to be sorted in advance. Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality and where you are traveling. It is your responsibility to purchase the correct visa.

Am I responsible for my flights?

You will be responsible for booking and paying for your flights. Your Team Leaders will support you with arranging your flights and suggest flights that will mean you can travel together with other Fellows.

Will someone meet me at the airport?

Yes. Your Team Leaders will be there to meet you and will be recognizable in their Inspiring Teachers polo shirts at the airport. As well as giving you a warm welcome, your Team Leaders will help you to find your feet and sort out things like finding an ATM and lend you a phone if you want to call/text family back home to let them know you arrived safely. If you arrive outside of the suggested flights then you may need to make your own way to the Fellowship but your Team Leaders can discuss this with you in advance if this is the case.

What safety precautions do you take?

With any travel, there are risks attached. Thanks to Inspiring Teachers having built partnerships in-country, our groups always have local, experienced personnel supporting the group throughout the programme. We go to great lengths to ensure our volunteers remain safe during their trip and conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. This is a two-way thing and in order to reduce the risk of getting into any trouble, we do rely on all volunteers acting responsibly and adhering to the code of conduct set by Inspiring Teachers.


What do we mean by Membership Contributions?

Our programs are funded largely by generous contributions from supporters and by charitable membership fees. Inspiring Teachers, members and supporters are asked to contribute their time and pay fellowship membership contributions. These philanthropic contributions enable us to support teachers in low-resource settings.

Many of our members raise or contribute beyond the levels we request. These charitable membership contributions are not minimum donations or mandatory fees and where we state amounts we are recommending a contribution level.

Additionally, you should understand that not all teachers who participate do make financial contributions. For example, in a recent Uganda program, 100 local teachers who are participating in the program were provided with materials, transportation and catering during an institute and did not make financial contributions. Meanwhile, international Fellows have chosen to contribute, and some have raised additional funds to support education in the region.

Each year, this model enables us to support large numbers of teachers in low-resource contexts through our programs. We also have grant programs which enable us to reduce recommended membership contributions for teachers from minority groups. If you’d like to participate, are a local teacher or do not feel you can contribute financially, please get in touch by emailing info@inspiringteachers.org.

What are Fellows provided during the program?

Our Fellows are supported and provided with training before and during our Fellowships. We provide training, course materials, and ongoing support. Along with our partners, we also provide participants with transportation, catering and accommodation.

What expense do Fellows incur?

Apart from making Initial Membership Fees and Fellowship Membership Contributions, International Fellows are responsible for their flights, insurance, visas and any in-country spending money or Additional Excursions.

How is income from Additional Excursions used?

Excursions are not part of our program and are an additional income generating mechanism that supports the costs of our programs. Payments for Additional Excursions are not charitable donations, membership fees or contributions. Income from excursions is used to support Inspiring Teachers core costs.


Can I fundraise to cover the costs of participation?

If you are a Fellow and you fundraise from friends and family, they will be supporting the overall mission of Inspiring Teachers and are not contributing to cover costs connected to your participation.

In some cases, friends and family of a Fellow contribute towards the cost of their participation (e.g. flights and insurance) Contributions, which are to the benefit of a fellow do not represent charitable contributions that can attract gift aid or tax deductions.

What are split payments and how do they work?

Where Members who make charitable contributions e.g Fellowship Membership contributions receive benefits, we calculate those and when relevant, to avoid providing benefits in excess of allowable benefits we use what is called a “split payment” where one part is a Membership Contribution that we recognise as a donation and the remaining part of the payment covers any benefits over allowable benefits for the contribution to quality as a donation. At times, we may not need to do this, for example, when our programs are sponsored funded by a third party, provided to our programs for free or where things are being legally counted as benefits.

Equally, under charity law, it is important that members of the public have the right to buy these benefits without making membership contributions. For example, we provide the program at no cost to local teachers and members of the public can request or arrange to stay in accommodation our programs uses or buy any tangible benefits related to our programs.

Where local teachers, aspiring participants or members of the public who are not members wish to buy any of the tangible benefits that members who pay Fellowship Membership Contributions do get, they can by just paying the benefit amount. Please get in touch if you have questions on this point.

Can I schedule my contributions in instalments?

Yes, many of our Fellows and supporters contribute in a series of instalments at their convenience. You can schedule payments or make payments in manageable instalments via the portal.

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is a government scheme that allows charities to reclaim the tax that you have already paid on your donations through income tax or capital gains tax.

If you are a UK Fellow, in your portal, we’ll prompt you to ask you if you’d like to generate Gift Aid on your contributions. This increases the impact of your contributions because it enables us to claim back tax you have paid.

You can support as many UK charities as you like through Gift Aid. All you need to do is to return a declaration to each charity that you support and ensure that you are paying enough tax during the year to cover your total annual donations.

Are donations refundable?

At Inspiring Teachers, we work hard to ensure that you have a trouble-free journey and when making donations or membership contributions we want to make it as smooth as possible. Under UK charity law, charities are not permitted to refund donations other than in specific circumstances. However, there may be an occasion when you need to speak to our team to discuss your contributions. Please email us at info@inspiringteachers.org. We’re a friendly bunch and we’ll ask you a few questions to determine what’s happened so that we can help in any way that we can. We are committed to the highest standards of legal compliance and we treat all requests for refunds with the utmost importance.

Who should I contact if I have further questions?

If you have any further questions - or if your circumstances change - please email us at info@inspiringteachers.org

Get Involved

What career opportunities are there?

To find out more about our current openings visit our careers page. If you are interested in joining our team then and don’t see a role that suits your competencies, please email your instalment to info@inspiringteachers.org.

How can my organisation partner with you?

We would love to hear from other organisations who share the same vision that every child has a great teacher. Whether you are interested in becoming a Fellowship partner or support Inspiring Teachers’ work more widely then get in touch with our CEO and co-Founder Simon Graffy at simon.graffy@inspiringteachers.org to tell us more about your work and arrange a follow-up call. For more information about how we work with our Fellowship partners to run teacher training Fellowships have a look here.

How can my school partner with Inspiring Teachers?

Teachers who join our Fellowships are trained as instructional coaches and grow while delivering our training. Our impact data shows that as well as building new skills, teachers become more confident, motivated, committed to teaching, and less likely to leave teaching. If you’d like to start a partnership between Inspiring Teachers and your school, find out more here.

I'm a filmmaker, how can I get involved?

We run a Filmmaker internship for aspiring filmmakers to develop their skills as a documentary videographer through an immersive and highly impactful experience that combines travel and film. If you think you’d be suitable to become a Filmmaker, learn more here.

Do you take interns?

If you are interested in an internship or work experience please contact us and send us a resumé and cover letter to careers@inspiringteachers.org For the right candidate there are lots of opportunities to get involved.

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