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Applying for second in department

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by jthomas25, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. jthomas25

    jthomas25 New commenter

    Hey everyone, I'm a science teacher and I'm looking for the next challenge in my career. A second in science job has come up at a different school and I was wondering if anyone had any experience of applying for this sort of role and if they had any advice for me. A few things about me:
    • I teach physics (to A-level) but my degree was chemistry and physics, so I could teach chemistry A-level as well but I don't have experience of that yet
    • I am the STEM co-ordinator at my current school. It was a role that didn't exist before the head invented for me
    • My current school has very static middle leadership (i.e. they don't leave)
    • I am an NQT+1 (I am aware this could hold me back)
    • I have a friend, who I trained with, at the school who told me about the job. She would apply herself but she is planning on going to Canada with her boyfriend. She has said I can call her and ask her any questions.
    Any help/hints/advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Trendy Art

    Trendy Art Star commenter

    In response to your points:
    • You can state in your application that you are able to teach chemistry as an additional subject
    • The head at your current school clearly values you to create a post specifically for you and doesn't want you to leave
    • You are ambitious with your career, but can't see opportunities to progress
    • Being a NQT+1 won't necessarily hold you back, but if I were interviewing you I'd like to know what your classroom results are. I'd also want to know if you could handle both the workload of leadership and teaching
    • Where the post has come up via your friend is invaluable for applying - certainly make use of this because you'd get to know about how well the department is led, the school itself and an indication of if it is a good fit for you
    Overall I'd say it's worth applying for the experience if nothing else. I would caution against taking on too much responsibility too soon if you don't feel ready for it. It's really important that you enjoy your job and show consistently high GCSE/A Level results over time which will provide greater longevity in the job and further heighten your value.

    However, forces (no pun intended) as such make it a buyer's market as you offer two shortage subjects. Finally, if you do apply for your friend's school, I'd make no mention of this at interview and let your skills on the day, if you choose to go ahead, do the talking.

    Hope this helps.
    phlogiston and jthomas25 like this.
  3. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    Trendy Art has pretty much summarised everything.

    You could apply and if you didn’t get the job, you could use it as an experience for going through the application process.

    Being a NQT + 1, wouldn’t necessarily hold you back but you need to demonstrate that in your 2 years of teaching, you have been successful and are able to not only continue to teach your own lessons but lead the team and step up in the HOD absence? Do you feel that you are ready to do so?

    As an HT, I would be looking for someone who has strong teaching experience and someone who knows how to lead a team. Being a good teacher does not necessarily mean that you are a good leader.
    You seem to have strong experience in Physics but with little in the other sciences may give an opportunity for another candidate to excel in. You have nothing to loose by applying, just let your HT know of your intentions.
  4. jthomas25

    jthomas25 New commenter

    Thank you Trendy Art and Jago123 for your responses they have been very helpful. I submitted my application yesterday and I have just found out that I have an interview this Wednesday. In brief, any hints/advice/tips? Anything is welcome. I've not been sent a schedule yet, so I'm not sure what's going to happen.

    I have also just found out that my friend (who I thought was moving to Canada) has also applied and got an interview as well. Obviously, I wish her well but it is still a little annoying. Never mind, I'll just have to ignore that now.
  5. dommurphy

    dommurphy New commenter

    Hi All.

    Not sure if you get a notification I am writing here but I am looking to apply for my first HoD role but have no real experience of teaching A-level. Would that count against me?

  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Only if you are applying for a school with a Sixth Form teaching your subject. You'd have to put forward a VERY convincing case if your department was doing A-levels and you were not anywhere near guru ...

    In an 11-16 school it would not be an issue.

    Might be best to gain more experience in A-levels.

    Best wishes

    Piranha likes this.
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If the school you are applying to does A-level, then as @TheoGriff points out, it probably would, assuming that there was another candidate of otherwise similar quality with A-level experience. If the department had sufficient A-level teachers, it might be less of an issue; if not then the ability to teach A-level could well be a requirement.

    You say "no real experience". Does that mean you have a little experience? Do you think you could be confident to teach it before you start the job? If so, then it is worth telling that that you are prepared to teach A-level from the start.

    However, it is easy to speculate, but I think it better to just apply and find out. Nothing ventured... Good luck.

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