1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Dear Theo, application advice please

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by peanuts253, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. peanuts253

    peanuts253 New commenter

    Dear Theo and anybody else who can help,

    I finished my PGCE in language in 2019, wasn't be able to secure a job. I thought it was probably because I needed a work visa, which put me in a less competitive position. After I got my QTS and a spouse visa, I started doing supply work since September. I plan to gain some teaching experience prior to applying for this year's NQT positions.

    I applied for nine schools, five of which reached closing date and only one of them shortlisted me. Unfortunately, I didn't get that job. After which, I started working even hard for interview preparation and read your "Interviewing for a Teaching job". It's very dishearten that when I think I've done all the things I could but still couldn't find a job.

    I was wondering if you can give me some advice please. Much appreciated.
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    First of all, as I am not a regular poster on here nowadays, probably not a good idea to do a "Dear Theo" heading. It might not get seen for ages and ages!

    The logical reply to your situation is that you are perhaps being too downhearted. You got one interview (before reading the interview advice) yet didn´t get the job. There may well have been 5 of you there, so 80% came away without a job!

    It may also be that you need to polish up your applications, since you have not been called to many interviews. I hope that I am correct in saying applicationS, because of course you should try to tailor the application to each school, so although there will be lots of similarities, you shouldn´t be sending out the same one to each and every school.

    Are you including an E.S. with the applications? I have uploaded on TES Resources a blank E.S. for writing one easily


    And do continue looking for and using 5-star books on applying and interviews for teaching jobs, making sure that they are UK based, not American, and are focussing on teaching jobs, not just jobs in general.

    Best of luck!


  3. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Are there no longer official Forum Advisors ( or whatever they’re called)?
    They certainly don’t seem to be around much to give useful support.
    It’s a shame if tes no longer calls upon its resources to offer proper and timely support especially on forums dealing with professional areas such as this.

    edit: I’m not suggesting your excellent input is not ‘proper’ @TheoGriff but as I understand it, you are now a ‘normal’ poster like the rest of us.
  4. peanuts253

    peanuts253 New commenter

    Thank you for taking time to answer my question Theo! I really appreciate that.I haven't include an E.S in my application yet, but I'll draft one for my next application.

    I contacted schools for feedback about my applications, but none of them gave me any feedback. It is understandable that schools have a large number of applications. I do think it is reasonable to give candidates some feedback even just to say "you didn't meet this specification", considering it takes hours to complete one application.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    The thing about feedback, unfortunately, is that it is pretty useless.

    Feedback on an unsuccessful application AND feedback on an unsuccessful interview.

    Useless because not honest and too vague. Why? Because people don't like being negative about others.

    Nobody is going to say something that could upset you. "You clearly didn't read the person specification since you are no way near what we are looking for". Or not even "your grammar and spelling was not up to our level of requirement".

    In my case, after an unsuccessful interview I did not tell one candidate the major reason for not appointing him: he stank.

    Nor will they risk saying anything that could end up with a solicitor's letter "You told our client that he didn't have X or Y, whereas in fact he has X, Y and Z. We believe that this is a clear case of racial discrimination because his name is similar to that of a convicted terrorist so shall be instigating legal proceedings against the school".

    So the feedback will talk about "a very strong field", or "candidates who had an additional subject/skill to offer", or "greater experience in the areas that most interest us".

    Anything bland that they can think of that won't get them into trouble.

    So feedback generally not much help.

    And most requests for feedback don't even get any. After an interview, when there's a bigger chance of getting feedback (I doubt anyone much gives feedback on applications) you might be luckier if, instead of asking for feedback, which suggests asking them to be negative about you, you ask for advice for any future applications.

    There was something else in your answer I've forgotten what and am writing painfully on a tiny screen from my sick bed, boohoo, so can't see it. Will continue reply in a minute

    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Okay, about E.S.

    The great thing about an E.S., as is explained in the link I gave earlier, is that it concentrates your mind specifically on what they want, and whether you can offer it.

    If you can't, then don't apply, save your time.

    If you can, make sure that you make it crystal clear in your application.

    Doing an E.S., even without including it in the application, is very useful indeed (and the link gives ideas for how to include it), and it is also very useful as a basis for your interview preparation.

    Good luck next time!

    Best wishes

    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. EBC

    EBC Occasional commenter

    Really helpful to see an E. S. I'd never heard of that before and makes so much sense, whether it's included in the application or not. It's useful. Thank you.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    For more about E.S. http://bit.do/Click_1 I have put a free blank E.S. template on the TES resources, to save you having to do all the formatting yourself.

    Talking about resources, a warning.

    What I would also like to say to all teachers who are considering a job application - is NOT to download from TES Resources things called something like Job Application statements, nor one called Cover letter examples nor Exemple of supporting statement for an application, nor anything similar.

    I have been absolutely horrified, absolutely horrified, to see these for sale on TES. Equally horrified if free, by the way.

    I came across them by chance yesterday when I was trying to find out-of-date stuff that had been written by me. Gobsmacked doesn´t describe how I felt. Plagiarism, using someone else´s statement or letter! Horror!

    Imagine this. Anne Appleby and Bob Brown both read these, and apply for the same job. It is pretty well guaranteed that their own applications will reflect what they saw in these resources, and the similarities will be identified and both will be discarded. Some LEAs (and big MATs too for all I know) introduced some years ago software similar to that used by UCAS to identify plagiarism in applications.

    Or imagine this. Anne applies, Bob doesn´t. But HT Charles Churchill and Chair of Governors David Dimbleby have both read these TES Resources, precisely to be able to see which candidates may have used them.

    So play safe.

    * Don´t read, not even just for ideas and inspiration, someone else´s statement, letter or application. You never know where it's been, i.e. who else has also read it

    * Don´t ever show your statement, letter or application to someone else who might apply in the future for the same job as you, or to a different job in the same school.

    * Don´t ever give an electronic copy of the above to someone else - you don´t know who it might be sent on to.

    Good luck with your applications. This is the best job in the world, you know. I've been doing it for well over 50 years, and am still at it, I love it so much!

    Best wishes

Share This Page