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Caught in a Catch 22 situation ...

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Sn0rkelMoorea, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. Sn0rkelMoorea

    Sn0rkelMoorea New commenter

    I am beyond frustrated. I am a UK trained teacher and had a successful career teaching English/HoD/HoY, etc in the UK. I spent six years abroad during which time I worked as an AHT and then as a HT. Having now resettled in the UK, I just can't get a job, despite hundreds of tailored applications. In the various roles I've applied for, these are some of the comments I've been receiving:

    Headteacher roles: missing out to everyone it seems, with no particular reason, and assurances that I will "get a HT role soon"
    DHT/AHT applications - I'm over-qualified, and my strategic skills are more suited to a HT post!!
    HoD / English teacher applications - I'm not even getting interviews.

    I need a job and keep hearing about a recruitment crisis. Really?

    Any advice on what to do next would be really appreciated. At the moment, it looks as though my only way forward will be sadly to leave the teaching profession altogether.
    splinters likes this.
  2. BYusuf

    BYusuf Occasional commenter TES Careers peer advisor

    Hi Sn0rkelmoorea,

    I am struck by the variety of posts you are applying for.

    Which role do you really want to go for? Are you applying to state or independent schools?

    A lot has changed within education during the last six years. So inspite of your experience as HT, you would obviously need to demonstrate how you could apply this to the current educational climate.

    With your experience, would you consider signing up to do educational consultancy to regain familiarity with
    education within the UK at a leadership level?

    Lastly, do you have a coach/mentor to help you:
    *Clarify what it is you want to do, so that you can focus your energies on that. For example, their support may help you elicit interim roles that could strengthen your applications.
    *Review your applications to highlight which aspects of your experiences and impact abroad would demonstrate your suitable for roles of interest to you.
    drvs likes this.
  3. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Catch 22, exactly. Sorry to hear of your frustrations though I'm not surprised that you're not getting leadership posts. Even if you were leading in a British Curriculum school overseas your experience will not be directly relevant to the current reality of leading in the English state sector and of course your past experience as an HoD is so far in the past that almost nothing remains the same. You're a bit ******** in the English state sector.

    I observed other colleagues' frustration on this from the flip side while in Dubai - international careers progress so quickly by nature and, riding the wave, people just think that the title will cross the home border with them; in fact it often means that while progressing your career overseas you are actually regressing your career back home.

    So, how to rescue the situation depends I suppose on how far you are prepared to go to continue in the profession. Whereabouts in the country are you and would you consider relocating to an area of need to get that first post? Have you considered the independent sector, perhaps looking at Director of Studies type level there? Have you looked at Head of School roles? Have you buddied up to any of the local MAT leaders? What about being a founding head somewhere? Worst case, are you prepared to go right back to "teacher" somewhere while you rebuild the specific knowledge to go with your existing skills and experience?

    Well yes, but that doesn't mean a free pass, you still have to fit the needs of the school - relevant and in context experience is a big need at the moment given the fast turnover and young age profile of the workforce.

    Good luck with it all. If you choose to shift career rather than go and lead in the state sector you'll be dodging a fair sized bullet anyway so fear not :)
    ViolaClef, DYNAMO67 and sabrinakat like this.
  4. Sn0rkelMoorea

    Sn0rkelMoorea New commenter

    Thank you both for your replies. I started looking at the beginning of last year and was only applying for HT roles. When I'd had a few interviews and no success, I decided to go for the DHT and AHT roles instead, but again without success (too strategic, etc.). Out of sheer need and frustration at the beginning of this year, I put in a few applications for English/HoD but haven't even had a response from some of those schools. I'm applying to both state and indi schools.

    In the last six weeks, I've totally revamped my CV with a much more business focused angle to it, and started applying again for HT posts, strangely with more success of at least getting to interviews. I now have a couple lined up again. In the interim, I've done various safeguarding courses, data analysis, joined NGA to get information, etc. I believe my main weak point is the data analysis and it's very difficult to access what's needed when I'm not in a school. If anyone can help in that area in particular I'd be really grateful. I've also tried to get hold of some NPQH materials but without success unfortunately.

    I was really interested in the comments you made about educational consultancy, and getting involved with a MAT as I hadn't thought of either so will investigate further. As for geographical location, I'm happy to relocate anywhere for the right position.
  5. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Nothing to add but to second the excellent advice from @drvs
  6. sarah_loulou79

    sarah_loulou79 New commenter

  7. Sn0rkelMoorea

    Sn0rkelMoorea New commenter

    Thank you very much Sarah - that's really appreciated.
  8. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    As someone who lived and taught abroad too, I can only say that lots of schools did not think I had the relevant experience as I had been out of UK schools for so long, teaching to an American curriculum. I had to start my career again from scratch.
    This is slightly harder for you though as you already have lots of SLT experience, which is why maybe some schools won't consider you for less than SLT roles.
    Maybe you could join some teaching agencies? They maybe sing your praises to the relevant school.
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    This. People think: Huh, taught overseas. Anyone can get quick advancement abroad. It means nothing. They start from zero as far as I'm concerned.

    I do not say this perception is legitimate. It simply exists.
  10. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    After 23 years of successful teaching as HOFand HOD, well qualified in secondary and post 16 education with a wealth of additional relevant experience, I also struggled to find a teaching role to the point that I left teaching altogether....not sure this 'crisis' extends beyond eBacc subjects.
  11. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    Just a thought - have you tried international schools in the UK? There a few and they may be obliging.

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