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Dear Theo: applying in a school for special needs or as a French teacher in London

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by cathiejayakumar, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Dear Theo,
    I'm an English qualified teacher in France and will move to London in September 2011. I would love to work either as a French teacher, or as a teacher for children with disabilities. In order to get an equivalence of my status (I've passed the CAPES exam which is more or less the equivalence of a PGCE in England, but for secondary school teaching), I will have to contact the GTC and send the documents they need, translated in English. They will I think grant me this equivalence
    I have been teaching English for special needs for three years now in France.
    I have some questions about jobseeking, since I really don't know how teachers recruitement works in England:
    1) I've noticed that they are some SEN schools in London, but I don't know how to be noticed by these schools.And they probably don't need a teacher... What qualifications do I need to teach in these school? How can I arrange a visit, and when do you think I can start to have an interview?
    2) How can I get help to write a CV and cover letter, to be prepared for successful interviews?
    Many thanks for your help.
    Cathie Jayakumar
     
  2. Dear Theo,
    I'm an English qualified teacher in France and will move to London in September 2011. I would love to work either as a French teacher, or as a teacher for children with disabilities. In order to get an equivalence of my status (I've passed the CAPES exam which is more or less the equivalence of a PGCE in England, but for secondary school teaching), I will have to contact the GTC and send the documents they need, translated in English. They will I think grant me this equivalence
    I have been teaching English for special needs for three years now in France.
    I have some questions about jobseeking, since I really don't know how teachers recruitement works in England:
    1) I've noticed that they are some SEN schools in London, but I don't know how to be noticed by these schools.And they probably don't need a teacher... What qualifications do I need to teach in these school? How can I arrange a visit, and when do you think I can start to have an interview?
    2) How can I get help to write a CV and cover letter, to be prepared for successful interviews?
    Many thanks for your help.
    Cathie Jayakumar
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Bienvenue, Cathie!
    Well, where do I start here . . . there is a lot that you need to know about getting a job as a teacher in England! I'll start by saying that it may not be easy, there are a lot of hurdles to jump . . .
    Firstly, unlike France and some other European countries, In England teachers are not appointed centrally and allocated to schools. Here you see a particular job in a particular school and apply for that one job. The school looks at your application (N.B. do NOT hand-write it unless specifically asked for - I know in France you are supposed to hand-write your letters of application - not here!), the school decides if it wants to interview you, meets you and decides whether or not to appoint you.
    So the school - the Headteacher - chooses the staff for the school. It's just like applying for a job in a private firm.
    This means that you must be in the UK and available for interview when they call you. There will be a separate interview for each school. Unless you can afford to pop over from France at short notice, this means that you won't be able to apply until you are in the country.
    To teach in a state school (also called maintained schools), you need to have QTS - qualified teacher status. This will come when your CAPES has been accepted by the GTC. Hurry up with this, as the GTC is about to be abolished and who knows what the next system will be.
    You might also be interested in teaching in an independent school. These schools - also called private schools - are very different from French private schools. In the UK they are often much more prestigious than state schools, and head the league tables for examination results and entry to the best universities. They often pay more than state schools, and have longer holidays. Go to the Independent Forum on here and open the Welcome thread to read the clickables inside. These will give you more information.
    https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/80.aspx
    Now you need to understand that there are a lot of unemployed teachers in the UK. So there will be a great deal of competition. There may be 200 or more people applying for each job (although fewer in London), and they will only interview 5 or 6 people. So just putting in an application does not guarantee an interview.
    Another issue is that Headteachers are subject to very strict Inspections, where the whole school (including their exam results) is inspected at 2 or 3 days' notice, and if there are problems it can be very serious for the Head. Some lose their jobs, and it is not unknown for Heads to commit suicide. Sad but true.
    So a Head may well be reluctant to appoint someone who is not trained and experienced in the English system, including the English exams and syllabuses, because it could be too risky. My guess is that you will not be familiar with all the jargon and systems here. You won't know about levelling or value-added or FFT or AfL, or why you need to get from a D to a C more than getting from a B to an A. The whole bureaucracy of education here is quite awful..
    Getting a job as a teacher is not easy. It is not unusual for teachers to write 100 or more applications (and they must be tailored individually to each school), before they get a job. So that's the bad news . . .
    Now to answer your questions.
    1) " I've noticed that they are some SEN schools in London, but I don't know how to be noticed by these schools.And they probably don't need a teacher... What qualifications do I need to teach in these school? How can I arrange a visit, and when do you think I can start to have an interview?"
    I'm afraid that I don't know about qualifications needed - you could try googling it, or go to the SEN Forum here and ask.
    https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/59.aspx
    You don't get noticed by these schools. In the UK, you wait until they advertise a vacancy, and then you apply. If you are lucky, you will have an interview. So I can't answer the question: "when do you think I can start to have an interview?" as it depends on when they have a vacancy, and advertise it.
    As for arranging a visit, schools in England don't normally have people in to visit. If they advertise a vacancy, then they may arrange some set times for potential applicants to visit, but not all schools do this. But you can't just visit a school and then hope to get a job from that.
    You could try writing to a school and offering to volunteer (i.e. work for free) for a few days a week for a term; that would be a possible way to get into the school. (You would need a CRB first, of course - more jargon for you!) But you would still have to wait until they had a vacancy, and then apply for it, to get a "real" job there.
    2) "How can I get help to write a CV and cover letter, to be prepared for successful interviews?" You do not use a CV for posts in schools in England as the government advises schools not to ask for them. Some independent schools ignore this advice, but state schools will not want a CV. So don't spend time on it.
    As for a letter of application, you can google application letter teacher to get an idea of what is normal but DO NOT COPY these examples, as your application will probably be disqualified if you do.
    Now some good news - at last! Specific advice on writing an application is found here on this forum, inside the welcome thread. This should be very useful for you - it has helped lots of applicants to get an interview, and then to get a job. Open the shortlisting clickables, the FAQs and the others too, and read them carefully.
    But before you can apply, a school must advertise a job that might be suitable for you. You need to read the job adverts in the TES every week. You can set up a Job Alert that will tell you of possibilities, but it's also a good idea to read the adverts and look at the extra information to see what they are looking for in a teacher.
    The TES Careers Service (see the tag below) offers individual and small-group support for job applications, but you have to pay for it, and it's London-based, so not too convenient from France!
    Bonne chance, et surtout bon courage.
    ____________________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars, one-to-one career advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.

    I shall be contributing to the Seminars on Saturday 8th January. TheoGriff Job Seminar
    Look forward to seeing you!
     

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