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52 - no future in teaching?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by greygaunt, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. greygaunt

    greygaunt New commenter

    I am in my twentieth year of teaching. I originally trained as an RE teacher but over the past few years have moved increasingly towards Geography. I have been at my present school for three years on a rolling one year contract. My school say they are not in a position to offer a full time contract due to funding issues. I am now seeking a new post and have applied for both classroom and subject lead posts. I have made some 35 applications since March 2018 and have secured 25 interviews. In every case I have received excellent feedback, compliments on the sample lesson I have taught - but no appointment.
    I’m increasingly worried that my age is now working actively against me for classroom posts and the fact that I’m not a Geography subject specialist counts against me in the case of subject lead positions. In fact, I’m getting scared that I may be headed for the scrap heap. Any helpful advice welcomed.
    TEA2111 likes this.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I got my last job aged 52.
  3. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I am 50-something and have just been offered a job in what I hope is a fantastic school, to start late August. So definitely not out of the question.
    peakster and TEA2111 like this.
  4. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    The issue I think is the amount of money you should be paid because of your 20+ years experience and schools rather paying a younger teacher with a few years experience and thereby saving £10,000+ a year in salary and TPS contributions.

    And getting 25/35 interviews for job application is really good. You are in a very good place for getting a job if 70+% of your applications lead to interviews AND you are always getting positive feedback.

    So keep on doing what your doing, it will work out.:)
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    The issue that occurs to me is that your subject combination is slightly limiting. If you are in to replace like for like, surely humanities staff who depart are far more likely to specialise in History and Geography? Perhaps they get you to interview as you do show the attributes they want, but you are always beaten to it by similar credentials yet with a more fitting subject. The problem with RE is that it is seriously dwindling in curricular presence, to the point of some schools "covering" the RE requirement eg during tutor or PSHE time.
    Have you contacted the schools where you were interviewed for a debrief? If you manage to achieve this conversation, it may also be a good time to ask what I have suggested.
    Perhaps you could dedicate some time to subject enhancement training in some shape or form?
    Perhaps you may have better luck in the independent sector?
    I cannot see that age or salary per se are scuppering your chances, both from the responses here and from my own experience.
    It is important that you find out from the interview process by asking for a frank assessment of what you "lack" (for want of a better word)
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  6. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    Isn’t there legislation about temporary contracts having to become permanent after 3 years?

    I might be completely out of date/ completely ignorant on the matter, but it might be worth checking.
    harsh-but-fair likes this.
  7. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Well done, @greygaunt, for keeping going - 35 job applications and 25 job interviews in less than a year shows great energy and resilience. I take my hat off to you. Sometimes it seems extraordinary that, with the apparent shortage of teachers - and especially experienced teachers - people like you are not snapped up. A school should have a spread of ages amongst its teaching staff. I wish you all the very best and hope you find the place that’s right for you soon.
    travelwings and agathamorse like this.
  8. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Senior commenter

    You are correct! If someone has been on a fixed term contract for 4 years or more, they are deemed to be permanent employees unless there is a good business reason why not. Also the employer must let the employee know well in advance why they are not being made permanent.
  9. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    Would the shortage of teachers not be favourable for older teachers? Even if it is only temporary posts they manage to secure?
  10. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    '35 job applications and 25 job interviews'

    Thats a very good interview to application ratio.

    The cynic in me would say 32 is old in teaching, these days its all young avocado munching Millennials!
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    The last two I hired were older than that, one an NQT, both big successes. Keep trying!
  12. morsegood

    morsegood New commenter

    Been trying to get a permanent job for 7 years now (age 51, 26 years experience as science teacher)- no -one wants to appoint me for anything more than a 1 year maternity cover. My confidence is getting lower, and I'm really thinking about giving up teaching for any job that offers more certainty.
    Any ideas please?
  13. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    It may not help with your quest for a job but, as well as the four year rule, you do actually have employment rights after two years of continuous employment. See https://www.gov.uk/fixed-term-contracts/renewing-or-ending-a-fixedterm-contract . My own interpretation of this would be that you are being unfairly dismissed if the job still exists and you don't get it; I don't think you being expensive is a fair reason for dismissal. And, if the job does end, you should get redundancy. But, if you do want to go down the legal route, you need union advice - please don't take it from me.
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. greygaunt

    greygaunt New commenter

    Just to round this thread off, I have secured a full-time permanent post from September. Decent school. Very happy.
  15. agathamorse

    agathamorse Senior commenter

  16. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Senior commenter

    Great news! Your persistence paid off.
  17. Lucy2711

    Lucy2711 Occasional commenter

    Congratulations! and thanks for updating. It's good to hear the conclusions to the threads on here.
  18. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    I am so pleased for you!

    I have applied for 32 jobs since April 2018 and attended 7 interviews so you have had much better luck than me.

    Enjoy the summer and good luck for September.
  19. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    Yay! Well done! :)
  20. crinauk

    crinauk New commenter

    I had never had an issue in getting a job either in the UK or abroad until I hit 50. In the UK I went for many, many interviews - all the feedback was excellent and each time it was 'close' and a 'tough' decision but I could not get a job. I then applied abroad and, unlike previously, even getting interviews was tough. I am now teaching abroad but I know that I am limited with next steps so rather than knowing I have many options I now have accepted that due to my age my options are limited.
    agathamorse likes this.

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