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Can you get a job over 50?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by dunnocks, May 29, 2018.

  1. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Became Head of Business Studies and ICT

    1n 1989 to be Head of Department in History you had to have a PHD

    In 1989 to be Head of ICT you had to know where the switch was!

    (That’s the problem with History - there’s no future in it!)
  2. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Thanks for sharing that 50s. It's always good to know where the potential for jobs are, outside of Maths, Science and MFL.

    Onwards and upwards Mate and I hope when you leave teaching it's

    a. at the time you want and
    b. on your terms.


    On a side note, @50sman was one of the regulars on the TES Unemployed Teachers Forum years ago and as I said, we are ALWAYS trying to help and support others. Even though 50s is now in work, he is still helping others. I highly commend that.

    agathamorse likes this.
  3. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    They probably don't know, they probably have to google what an o-level is, let alone when they stopped.
    agathamorse and catbefriender like this.
  4. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    I'm over 50, left a full time teaching job last year, and have worked as a supply since February. London, core subject. The CV I sent out to agencies only included my most recent degree and teaching experience. No mention of my age, deliberately. So far have managed to find medium term work when I wanted it, in my subject. Apart from one agency clown who asked me for a fuller CV which "elaborated on everything I had done in my life" - which I ignored- none of the other agencies even asked how old I was and my guess is they didn't communicate this to the schools I went to either. Or if they did, the schools weren't bovvered. I think they just wanted someone who knew their subject and how to teach it, wasn't a softie and would stay for the period they said they would.

    When I left full time teaching last year I had done enough thinking and research to work out that even if I did want a "permanent" job with pension contributions, paid holiday etc the only way I would get this would be via a supply placing first, and that it would not be worth my time or energy or mental health to apply direct to schools. So I didn't and haven't and almost certainly won't.

    Money, financial commitments? Well, I am probably more fortunate than most. But also, I never envisaged that, from last year, anything teaching related would ever be my only income. And I have always known that it is possible to live very well on very little money.

    NQT and younger teachers unable to find work and "forced" to do supply? Well yes, maybe, if by "work" you mean full time, permanent work, cat. I have a theory that many schools do not actually want permanent staff - they will always prefer supplies because they are even easier to get rid of and of course they are cheaper. Decline in behaviour due to succession of supply teachers? Ah well, so what? Lower exam grades? Ah well, so what? Is it or is it not the case these days that an increasing number of people are actually seeing through this? Do good GCSE grades guarantee a place at a good institution of further learning or even a good job? Actually no, and did they ever? Government statistics give a very false impression of "unemployment," and ignore the real nature of "work" these days.

    I really understand the anger of some posters here about ageism - and there is no doubt this exists- I too have experienced this before I got into teaching. However, and I am not one to preach, it might be better for some to move on from this emotion.
    agathamorse and catbefriender like this.
  5. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Thanks for your insights @tonymars it is really helpful. I am actually going to register with a few agencies this week, as much as I would prefer not to and find my own work directly, as I too am realising agencies ARE the way to go, for finding more work, even tutoring/Intervention contracts with schools and private clients and you are right about the way they are painting employment in schools i.e. the number of NQTs not having completed Induction, may not be mentioning those that have started and need one more term, and 335,000 QTs out of schools, not including those QTs on supply, so it is ambiguous and perhaps painted in this way to get MORE money to train MORE teachers and bring over MORE overseas teachers.

    But you are right about leaving the negative emotions and mindsets behind and forgetting about applying directly to schools, where front line HR staff, who are usually paid very basic salaries, are in charge of putting forward the applications of note.

    What @CheeseMongler said about O levels may indeed be true. Supposing they are told to only put teachers that have GCSE Maths and English forward? You never know......

    Surprisingly, I applied for a post and when I spoke tot he HR lady for feedback, she said because it stated I was currently working as a tutor, she didn't realise I was a QT. Just goes to show how many pages they read of the application form!

    Anyway, I'm glad you're getting what you want out of this and you're not emotionally tormented by it and wishing you the very best at getting what you want out of this.

    agathamorse and tonymars like this.
  6. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Yes cat, agencies can be hubs. For example, a couple of days ago I got an e mail from a supply agency I have done some work for, about tutoring a home educated child, two hours a day, maybe £30 an hour, maybe throughout the summer. OK it's not much, but it's something. I've also done some invigilating via an agency. I'm not interested as I'm going travelling soon...

    Your comments about the CASH and how the "crisis" has been engineered, or at least exaggerated, may well be true. It is not the first time this sort of thing has happened, is it?

    Supply work is of course seasonal, you'll be very lucky to find anything now. There is a TES forum on supply work.:cool:
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Yep. Exactly. Wow. This is the career you’re currently in! Look up at the ceiling; you’ll soon start noticing that it’s covered in dirt and about to spilt apart...
    woollani likes this.
  8. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I think ageism still applies when applying for jobs through agencies. You would have thought that, since you are being a flat daily rate, that schools would go for an experienced qualified teacher rather than a UT, but they do not seem to do so. Over the past six years, I must have registered with a dozen agencies, and none of them comes up with anything that is a straight forward 'I work, you pay me' deal. There is always a catch, of the, "Work this week for free, and we'll you double next week," variety.

    Some HRs propound the line that they are 'desperate for science teachers', when you phone them. When you answer their question, "Do you have any teaching experience?" in the affirmative, their reply is, "Ah...yes...well....."

    From experience, I think few people read CVs thoroughly, if at all. I have been asked basic questions covered in my CV by both schools and agencies. If they do read them it is probably only the front page before putting it into the bin.

    My DES number gives me away, as it begins 77/
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
    woollani and agathamorse like this.
  9. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Hi Tony, I'm registering for tutoring work in September but may get bits over the summer i.e. 11 plus. And thanks again for the advice UBER helpful.
  10. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Re agencies, there is no harm in applying and the 'odd' last minute supply role has come in, which I haven't been able to to do. But I agree with Tony, that direct applications is a no, no.

    When schools are desperate, they will call agencies and when agencies are desperate they may call you. You have to put yourself out there, and now it's summer, I have more time to put myself out there, register with a few, and who knows?

    What Tony said about recent degrees/qualification may be indeed true. The qualification I did, which was available as part of my TSST, but alas is no more, was 2017, and that 'tricked' some SMTs into thinking I was younger than I was!

    The rationalisation of not employing older teachers, is that we are 'out of date.' A friend of mine, who failed her O levels went straight into supermarket/admin work for over 20 years, and did her GCSEs, access course, foundation and undergraduate degrees late 40s/early 50s, never has problems because her GCSEs are all the 2000s! So passing our exams the first time round may have been our mistake as fair recruitment practises advises employers NOT to ask questions such as date of birth, but their still asking us WHEN we took our qualifications.
    woollani and agathamorse like this.
  11. happilyconfused2

    happilyconfused2 New commenter

    Over 55 and I am starting a new teaching job in September. I passed my o'levels in the 70s!

    I am not cheap

    Guess I am lucky reading the previous responses. I wouldn't touch agencies with a barge pole
  12. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    MASSIVE Congratulations to you Happily

    I really hope you have an UBER GREAT time in your new job in a school that values your experience and your unique AWESOMENESS.

    And thanks for acknowledging that you are lucky to be in this position and not gloating in your success.

    Go out there and do us Oldies Proud!

  13. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I have an M.Sc. in Computer Science, and had a very lucrative career as a software developer for 20 years. From what I've seen of it, ICT in schools is still a complete joke: including a lot of what is taught in Decision Maths.
    woollani and agathamorse like this.
  14. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I resigned from my subject head post in 2009 at age 50 then did four years of supply, by choice. A significant portion of my supply work was paid to scale (UPS3), but it was some time ago and I accept the market has changed.

    My final post was a 12 month 0.6 p/t contract, and I was 53 when I took it on, but I'd been an ICT specialist for most of my career so I was in a permanent shortage subject. The school was planning to renew the contract as a permanent post but I had other plans. Moving into ICT in the early 80s was the best thing I ever did in terms of job security.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. RjMaan

    RjMaan New commenter

    Yes, one can still get a job if he is over 50. I have seen many examples but one have to be highly qualified in terms of experience and qualification for the post.
  16. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I have found that being highly qualified and experiences is just what schools do not want.
  17. RjMaan

    RjMaan New commenter

    Yes you are absolutely right. Actually, i was talking in the context of getting job at university level.
    woollani and agathamorse like this.
  18. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    On the contrary Roger

    If you are prepared to work for NO or very, very LOW pay, do the job of a fully paid MPS/UPS teacher and support the school's Induction and CPD programme you will find no problema getting a job in a school over 50 especially as a lot of unqualified Science teachers are not confident in the labs these days.
    woollani, MarieAnn18 and agathamorse like this.
  19. AlwaysAdaptable

    AlwaysAdaptable New commenter

    Someone I know has just bagged a leadership post. This is in London BTW. So there are jobs about for older people but not many I should think. This person is very lucky indeed.
    MarieAnn18 and catbefriender like this.
  20. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Exactly so. This is the sort of job offer I get all too frequently. :( It has occurred to me too, that the school's motivation (aside from the obvious one of getting £40K's worth of work a year for nothing) is to have someone on hand, with experience of how to teach and, more importantly, of what to teach, in a department staffed mostly by 'have-a-go' UTs.

    I have tutored students who have done very little practical work in science, if any.

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