Ever thought about working as a teacher in Ealing? With a population of over 367,000, it’s the capital’s third most populous borough, yet it still lives up to the nickname ‘Queen of the Suburbs’, which was coined in 1901 by architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner because of its wealth of parks and pretty, tree-lined streets. As the tree design on the council’s logo and borough coat of arms suggests, it’s still an attractively green place to live and work to this day, with its own garden suburbs – Brentham Garden Suburb and Bedford Park – and 330 hectares designated as part of the Metropolitan Green Belt.
Home, of course, to Ealing Studios, where gently satirical, classic comedies including Passport to Pimlico, The Lavender Hill Mob, The Ladykillers and countless others were made and which is still an important feature film production hub, the borough boasts a vibrant cultural, arts and entertainment scene that amply reflects its diversity. The Ealing Club, for instance, is known as the birthplace of British Rhythm and Blues – and of a band called The Rolling Stones, whose current guitarist Ronnie Wood studied at the Ealing School of Art (now part of the University of West London), as did fellow rock luminaries Freddie Mercury and Pete Townshend.
Southall is not only the birthplace of the celebrated Martinware art pottery but also of British Bhangra music with the band Alaap in the 1970s. Among way too many cultural highlights to list in full, the borough offers the Ealing Film Festival, Ealing Symphony Orchestra, the Punjabi Theatre Academy, and the UFO Steelband among many, many others.
Given the borough’s rich diversity of cultures, it’s no surprise that some 48 languages are spoken there, and the Irish and Polish communities are particularly prominent. In fact, the borough has the UK’s highest proportion of Polish speakers at 6%. What that means for teachers working in the borough is a broad range of opportunities across some 91 state-run schools and nurseries as well as an impressive variety of successful independent schools catering for specific languages, religious backgrounds and learning specialisations. Among them are the Barbara Speake Stage School, The King Fahad Academy (independently Saudi-funded) and Acton’s Japanese School in London.
Since it’s towards the west and north-west of London, Ealing’s not only a green and pleasant borough – it’s also very well-connected with central London and all its entertainment, cultural and sightseeing delights, boasting some 25 rail and tube stations. London Paddington is only 13 minutes from Ealing Broadway – and with 139 trains a day, you won’t have to wait long. Heathrow Airport’s just 22 minutes away – and with the M4 running through the borough you’ve got efficient road connections inwards to the heart of London or out to the M25 and the rest of the UK.