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FAQs

Find out more about working with Bell young learners by reading through our frequently asked questions. If you have any further queries, please email jobs.uk@bellenglish.com.

Before applying

Am I eligible to work in the UK?

Bell has a duty to check all employees’ entitlement to work in the UK. We are only able to employ those eligible to work in the UK, either via means of EU citizenship or those holding a valid Tier 1, 4 or 5 Visa. Please note that Bell is unable to provide visa sponsorship and cannot accept applications from non EU citizens or applicants without a valid UK visa. For further details on eligibility to work in the UK, please visit the government website.

Can I apply if I have limited availability over the summer?

Contracts can vary in length. A typical contract could last between 2 and 12 weeks. We are happy to accept applications from candidates with limited availability. However, please note, if you are only available in August preference will be given to applicants with earlier availability in the first instance.

Do I need to complete an application form?

As an institution that deals with young learners, Bell is committed to the safeguarding of children. As such we require all applicants to fill out the Young Learner Application form in order to ensure we have an up-to-date, common set of data for all staff. We are happy to accept CVs in addition to the application form, however, a CV alone will not constitute a job application.

In order to access the application form and apply for your chosen role, you will need to register on our website. For more information, visit our latest vacancies.

What qualifications do I need to apply?

Bell is regulated by the British Council; as such we require all of our EFL Teachers to be degree qualified and hold a CELTA (or equivalent). Please note that in order to qualify as a CELTA equivalent the course must be a face-to-face course, involving a minimum of 100 hours study and 6 hours of observed teaching. Directors of Studies must be degree qualified and hold a DELTA (or equivalent).

For qualifications required for other roles please see specific job descriptions.

How is the course broken down?

Each course at Bell has its own unique feel with the activities, excursions and events differing from site to site. However, the general structure remains the same, with students completing 15 hours of language lessons, 9 hours of activities and 1.5 days of study tours per week.

Whilst most of these components will be tied to specific roles, all staff will take a full and active part in all aspects of a course, giving everyone a chance to get involved, work together and share ideas.

Please note: Involvement in the afternoon and evening activities is a compulsory component of every role, including EFL teachers.

What if I’m not good at sports?

Not all of our activity sessions involve physically active sports. You may enjoy leading craft sessions, performing arts, quiz sessions or evening events. We do not expect all staff to be experts in the activity they are leading; we do however ask that all staff participate enthusiastically in their designated session and show enthusiasm and a willingness to learn, whilst remaining professional and responsible at all times.

Recruitment checks

Do I need a DBS check?

As part of our commitment to protect and safeguard children we require all staff to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure. Therefore, as part of our safer recruitment procedure we are obliged to carry out these checks for all of our employees prior to appointment.

Please be aware that any returning staff members who have had a gap in their service at Bell of 12 months or more will be required to complete a new DBS application form.

For new Bell employees, the £44 DBS cost will be deducted from your first salary payment. If you currently have a valid DBS and have signed up to the DBS update service we are able to run a DBS check on you free of charge on the Government’s DBS portal. The check is done with your DBS number, date of birth and surname, and collates the most up-to-date information on you. More information on the DBS update service can be found at www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service.

What if I have been living/working overseas?

If you are currently living and working in a country other than the UK, you will need to obtain a police clearance certificate from that country in addition to completing a DBS application. These can normally be obtained from your local police station and must be done before you leave the country. As with DBS applications, you will need to obtain a new certificate after each gap in service during your time at Bell.

What type of references do you need?

As part of our commitment to protecting and safeguarding children and young persons, we require all course staff to have up-to-date references. We require all references that span your last five years of employment. This should include a reference from your most recent/current employer. If you are currently studying, or have been studying in the last five years, we can accept a reference from your tutor or the educational institute.

For returning staff we will take up additional references each time you have a gap in employment with Bell.

Please note that we are unable to accept character references or references from personal email addresses (Hotmail, Yahoo etc.)

Locations

I’m travelling by car, is parking available on site?

Parking is available on all sites.

I’m travelling by air or train. What are the nearest airports/stations?

Bell St Albans

  • Airport: London Luton
  • Train station: Radlett (10 mins from the school)

The Leys School

  • Airport: London Stansted
  • Train station: Cambridge (walking distance from the school)

Wellington College

  • Airport: London Heathrow
  • Train station: Crowthorne (walking distance from the school)

Please note Bell cannot reimburse any travel costs.

What is the accommodation like?

Staff will generally have a single bedroom with shared bathroom facilities in single gender areas. In occasion staff may be asked to share a twin room with another member of staff of the same gender.

Are there laundry facilities?

There are laundry facilities available for staff at each site. Bed linen is provided on site. You will need to bring your own towels and toiletries.

Is Internet access available on site?

Computer and internet facilities are available to staff on all sites. Further information on the use of IT is provided in our Code of Conduct, which is issued alongside every new staff contract and can be found by logging into the young learner staff Extranet (login details will be provided upon issue of contract).

Can I bring my partner/child?

Accommodation on every course is limited and only staff members are permitted to be resident on site. As such staff are not permitted to bring partners or children with them.

Is accommodation available the night before the contract start date?

Accommodation is not available before your start date.

If you plan to arrive before your contracted start date please contact the HR Team who can provide you with a list of well-priced, local accommodation.

Please be aware that Bell cannot reimburse any accommodation costs or guarantee the availability of local accommodation. It is the responsibility of the individual staff member to book and fund this as required.

Useful information

Is there a dress code?

You are expected to dress appropriately according to the activity in which you are working, ensuring you present a professional image and one that reflects sensitivity to customer perceptions.

You are advised to bring casual clothing, including sportswear, swimwear and trainers suitable for participating in activity sessions.

You may also wish to bring a small amount of smart clothing as there may be the occasional formal event.

What should I bring with me?

Each staff member is responsible for designing, planning and preparing their own language and activity lessons. We have a range of teaching materials available to staff, both electronic and printed. Computer and internet facilities are also available. Staff members are welcome to bring along teaching materials they feel may benefit their lessons. Language lessons are project based and it is advisable to collect appropriate ideas and materials before the start of the courses. Further information on lesson ideas is provided in our Staff Handbook, which can be found by logging into the young learner staff Extranet.

Bell is not liable for any loss of or damage to personal items belonging to staff. Insurance must be arranged by individual staff as required.

Can I book holiday during the course?

As employment contracts for YL staff are relatively short-term, it is not usual to take holiday during the course. However, holiday leave may be possible for the occasional day. Please note that you must apply to the HR department with any holiday requests in advance of your contract start date and approval is required before you make any arrangements. You are entitled to paid annual statutory holiday. Holidays must be taken in accordance with operational requirements and be approved by your line manager. If it is not permissible to take holiday during the assignment you will be paid in lieu of untaken holiday.

How are the days off arranged?

Each weekly day off is allocated by the Centre Manager based on course requirements and most effective staff deployment. Requests for a specific day of the week must be given to the Centre Manager at the start of the course. Please be aware that it will not be possible for staff to have the same day off every week.

How will my performance be assessed?

Teachers, Activity Leaders and Houseparents will be observed whilst performing their key duties at least once during the course. You will be observed by your line manager and will be given written and oral feedback on your performance. Any areas for improvement will be identified and appropriate support given to help you achieve these. You will be expected to produce a plan of work in advance (e.g. lesson plan for teachers, house meeting agenda for houseparents) for your line manager to review before the observation takes place.

Will I receive feedback on my performance?

All staff will have an end of course feedback meeting with their relevant managers. This is an opportunity for both parties to discuss performance on the course overall as well as any other issues raised. Staff are encouraged, however, to speak with senior members of staff at any time during the course if they need advice/guidance or if they would like to discuss a problem or concern. A written report will be compiled and will be held on the individual staff member’s secure file in the HR department. Please note that this feedback will have a bearing on future employment decisions.

How and when will I be paid?

You will be sent an Assignment Schedule from the HR team along with your contract. You will be paid on or around the payment date stated on this schedule. The only time you will not be paid on time is if you have not returned all of your payroll paperwork or if the bank details you have supplied are incorrect.

Staff with international bank accounts will have to pay £15 bank charges per payment to cover Bell’s costs in making the payment.

What training and support will I receive?

Bell is committed to the Continuous Professional Development of all staff including those on permanent and temporary contracts.

At the beginning of each summer course, you will have two or three days' induction where you will have the opportunity to learn about Bell, our courses and our systems and procedures. At least one in–service training session (INSET) per course will be held for all staff groups. We also provide pre-course induction material which includes online training programmes on Child Protection and First Aid for all young learner staff.

In addition to the above, Bell has various opportunities for staff to apply for training at other times of the year. This could include attendance at a conference or sponsorship for courses, e.g. First Aid, Lifeguard and CELTA. You will learn more about these opportunities while you are working with us.

Will Bell provide a reference after my contract?

We are always happy to provide employees with a factual reference. Please address all reference requests to HR@bellenglish.com.