Have you ever considered a teaching job in Barnet? It may have the highest population of all the London boroughs, but Barnet’s also a pleasantly green and leafy place, nestling on the capital’s North-Western edge where it meets rural Hertfordshire. That mix of urban and rural influence is reflected in the broad and diverse range of educational settings and opportunities in the borough.
This relatively leafy borough on London’s undulating northern fringes is where the metropolis merges with suburbia like a polite introduction to the countryside beyond – indeed, much of the borough is categorised as ‘Metropolitan Green Belt’. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the areas furthest north, including High Barnet, Totteridge and Whetstone, are fairly affluent and have a definite air of the countryside about them, but as you head south towards central London through the suburbs of Cricklewood, Hendon, Finchley, and Golders Green it feels more urban, more cosmopolitan and more densely populated.
Since it’s the borough with London’s second-highest proportion of over 65s at 13.3% according to the (very shortly to be updated) 2011 census, you might expect education to rank fairly low among its priorities. Actually, Barnet offers a remarkably wide and plentiful range of opportunities for education professionals at all levels from NQTs and teaching assistants to university professors and headteachers in a range of educational environments, including 86 primary and 22 secondary schools including Jewish schools as well as Barnet College’s four sites, Middlesex University’s five sites and University College London’s Mill Hill Teaching Observatory.
It is important to note that, green and pleasant as it is, the Borough of Barnet is far from bland. With the highest proportion of Jewish residents of any UK local government area and London’s highest proportion of people who identify themselves as Chinese, you have a unique and vibrant mix of ethnicities and religious backgrounds with their own particular educational and linguistic challenges, and special requirements and rewards.