We are looking for snappy, fun-to-read writers who are knowledgeable about the schools where they live; writers who can research and visit schools and combine that information and their own opinions into a sharp, interesting, well-constructed review written in The Good Schools Guide brisk, conversational, and even irreverent style. Could this be you?
What is The Good Schools Guide?
The international section of The Good Schools Guide includes reviews of over 175 schools in more than 30 countries and counting. It’s online only, which keeps it up-to-date and easily accessible by our subscribers all over the world.
Our school reviews are renowned for being readable, relevant and candid. Schools can’t pay to be in our guide, nor choose whether or not to be included, which means we are independent and therefore much more valuable to parents. While we stand by the fact that every school we review is ‘good’, we also recognise that good means different things to different people. Some schools are better for sporty kids or arty ones. Some pride themselves on stretching academic high-flyers, and others have a fabulous programme for children with learning difficulties. Some schools are huge, busy and bustling while others are small, calm and nurturing. Some are chosen for their amazing facilities and indoor 50-metre pools, while others use the municipal pool and tennis courts across town, and parents are okay with that.
We ask, and most importantly, answer, a multitude of questions on parents’ behalf.
Can a child start halfway through term, or in the last year of school? How do they make new students feel at home? Can my child continue their Mandarin? Is there an after-school homework club? Why do they charge so much more than the school down the road? Are the school lunches delicious and nutritious? Is there a community for parents? Does the PTA organise family events? What is the atmosphere like? Is the drama department any good? What sort of university and careers guidance do they provide? Are the students respectful of each other and their teachers? Is there a high turnover of teachers? Does the headteacher know every child’s name, or run the school from behind a desk?
Through clever research, conversations with parents, tours of schools, interviews with staff, and our own keen observations, our reviews go way beyond schools’ glossy (or sometimes woefully inadequate) websites and help our subscribers to find the best fit for their children, reading between the lines on occasions.
What does a writer do?
Creates a comprehensive list of the best schools for international families in their city
Connects with parents for an in-depth conversation about what they love about their school, and what they would change
Contacts the school to make an appointment to visit - tenacity might be called for!
Spends a few hours having a tour, interviewing the principal and other senior staff, asking questions and being sharply observant
Writes the review in our famously forthright, chatty style*
Runs it by the international editor for a second pair of eyes
Sends it to the school for their comments and amends it, if necessary**
Uploads it to The Good Schools Guide website and lets the school know it’s live
Refreshes or rewrites old reviews as required
*Don’t worry, there is a template and notes to help you structure it, virtual group training sessions as well as individual chats with the international editing team, and friendly advice available from other writers via a WhatsApp group.
**Of course, we correct any factual mistakes, but we always retain editorial control and it’s up to you to decide whether to make any other changes. The international editor is always available for advice and backup.
Who are our writers?
Our writers are native English speakers who live all around the world from New York in the west to Tokyo in the east. Most are parents, and a few are former teachers or retired headteachers. A handful have worked in journalism, PR or marketing communications. What they have in common is a passionate interest in all things schools and education.
Our writers love that the role fits easily around other commitments whether young children, another part-time job, voluntary work, marathon running, or disappearing to their home country for the summer holidays.
Who are we looking for?
You are ready for a new challenge
You are open-minded and curious
And genuinely interested in young people, schools and education
You are self-motivated and a tiny bit tenacious
You enjoy meeting new people and striking up conversations
And are comfortable interviewing headteachers and other senior staff
You have excellent grammar and an engaging turn of phrase
You have a natural flair for writing highly readable copy
And are not afraid to be a little irreverent at times
You are a native English-speaker
And any gender, age, nationality and background
How it works, practically speaking
We pay a flat fee per review, on a scale which depends on the size of the school. Travel expenses are also reimbursed at a fixed rate per mile.
We may ask you to help update reviews for changes in personnel, admissions policy and exam results on an annual basis, which is paid at an hourly rate.
In addition, we may commission you to write one or more articles about education and schools in your city or country, also paid by the hour.
Subject to demand and expertise, we may give you the option of providing an educational consultancy service to parents over Zoom, focusing on a specific school or schools, or an overview of the education system. This is paid as a percentage of the amount charged by The Good Schools Guide office in London, who will liaise with the client to define the service required.
As you work on a self-employed freelance basis, you submit a monthly invoice of completed work. Earnings are paid in arrears into any UK or international bank account. You are also responsible for getting a work permit, if required, and managing your own tax affairs, which can be complicated overseas. Seek advice from a reputable specialist in your country.
The last words from the writers themselves
‘I absolutely love the flexibility of this job. Being able to set my own goals has made it possible for me to work while exploring my new country, and I can still head back to see family when I want to.’
‘Having had a successful career in the UK, it was hard to follow my spouse overseas and give up my feeling of identity, as well as my own income. Now as a freelance writer I take pride in telling people what I do.’
‘This role has opened lots of doors to interesting conversations and even new friendships.’
‘Hearing many different perspectives on what a good school can do for a child is fascinating. There is never a repeat in this job.’
‘This role brilliantly complements my other work around relocation.’
‘I love touring schools, talking to staff who are passionate about their profession, and getting the inside scoop from parents.’
‘I appreciate the opportunity to give back to the international community by contributing to something that other parents find so helpful.’
‘As a past headmistress, The Good Schools Guide was my bible to check out the competition and latest innovations in education. Now I’m retired, it is a privilege to become a contributor, as I continue to be curious about all things school-related.’
‘I’m so happy to have recently become part of this tight team of kind, interesting and supportive writers.’
‘Having experienced many different types of schools with my own children, now grown up, I love learning about education in my new country.’
‘I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and now I actually am one, even if it’s not the novels I had in mind! Who knows where this experience will lead me in the future, but for now, I’m loving every minute.’
How to apply
If you meet the criteria, and some of the comments above resonate with you, please email [email protected] with your up-to-date CV and a covering note. If you can, please include a 500-word sample of your writing in the style of The Good Schools Guide reviews or a link to anything you have published online, such as a blog or article. We look forward to hearing from you!