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Dear Theo and all: Should you visit a school before you apply?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by TheoGriff, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    If they say "You are strongly encouraged to visit the school", then you should do your best to visit, and SAY SO in your application. Mention something good that you iked, say how you felt you had same ethos - along those lines.
    Because, unfair as it may seem (and to me it is JOLLY unfair - suppose you have to give up a day's Supply pay to go? Or pay out masses in fares?), some schools actually do not consider teachers who "haven't bothered to visit". I hate them, hate them, for that. I really do.
    If you cannot get there, for one reason or other, and they are one of the schools who encourage you to visit, then in your application say something like: Personal circumstances made it impossible for me to visit as I wished to, but reading your website . . . If the Ofsted is fairly recent (no more than 3 terms ago) you could briefly mention something positive from that too. Don't go in for highlighting their failures in their Inspection, they won't like you for that.
    If you cannot visit, you could also try ringing the school. Do a search on here for Visit - you'll get ideas for what to say if you ring, or what to ask/do and what not to ask/do if you do actually visit.
    Best wishes
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
  2. welshchocoholic1

    welshchocoholic1 Senior commenter

    Thanks yet again Theo for your advice[​IMG]. Sorry to keep asking silly questions! I will have to give up the days supply work, which is a bit of a pain, but there doesn' t seem to be any other way.
    'some schools actually do not consider teachers who "haven't bothered to visit". I hate them, hate them, for that. I really do.' - thought this might be the case.
    On the plus side I live A LOT nearer to places now, as in the past I have had to stay overnight in places just for a visit, so it should be alot cheaper[​IMG].
    Thanks again[​IMG]
  3. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I would echo what TheoGriff says, unfortunately. I found out in mid-June I was moving half way across the country. Due to the fact I was on placement, I couldn't justify (nor afford the petrol) taking a whole day off to spend half an hour looking round a school with 20 other applicants. I always said in my application letter "I've not visited for X, Y and Z reason, but have looked at your website and OfSTED report" etc etc. I must have applied to 15 schools and heard nothing. Since moving here I've visited every school I've applied to, must be about 20 by now, it's costing me a fortune in petrol. Most of the visits have been fairly pointless from my P.O.V, but it's got my name on a list of people who visited. Of those applications I've had 2 interviews so better success rate than before the summer!
    Where I lived before and was applying, I got 2 interviews without visiting (and I had no excuse for not visiting really), just said in my letter of application I was busy on placement but had seen their site and OfSTED and would love a tour if invited to interview. Depends on the area and number of applicants I guess.
  4. Yeah, I think so. It's a real bloody imposition, I think, but what you gon' do? I suppose the only way to try to cut down the missed supply pay is research the posts really thoroughly so you're only visiting schools you're pretty sure you're going to like. (And if the appointments they're offering are in school time, ask if it would be possible to come after school hours; the worst they can say is no?)
    To be fair, visits are a good way of mentally listing loads of things to wax lyrical about in your cover letter, and they do help you to get a 'feel'. I was rejected after interview in May and a post came up at the same place last month. I visited AGAIN and feigned utter fascination; what was useful was gauging the Head's reaction. She obviously recognised me and kind-of singled me out to say hello and do a little arm-touching-thing ('Dear Diary...') and that encouraged me to have another try. And I only bloody got it! Supply teaching is hard enough without having to lose money like this; really hope you soon get what you've been looking for xx
  5. welshchocoholic1

    welshchocoholic1 Senior commenter

    Thanks Modgepodge and Lilybett, and of course Theo for your advice[​IMG]. Think I'm just going to go for it and visit the schools, then I can include things in my cover letter that I have seeen.
  6. I think it is useful for writing in your application anything you liked at the school or any areas they mentioned that you can offer something in (i.e. sport, music, art etc). I did despair at trudging round a primary school at 4pm and grinning inanely at carbon copy **********-type displays and saying hello to the cleaners - seen one reception classroom, seen them all - usually! I have grown to LOVE schools that say in their job ad "only shortlisted candidates will be invited for a tour".
  7. welshchocoholic1

    welshchocoholic1 Senior commenter

    Thanks Kitkat for your advice. Hoping I'll be able to get some of the info from my visits to put in my application forms.
    I have grown to LOVE schools that say in their job ad "only shortlisted candidates will be invited for a tour".
    - That would be nice[​IMG]!

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