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Dear Theo / everyone! - Juggling school visits alongside supply / part-time job?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by Sheeee, May 3, 2012.

  1. Sheeee

    Sheeee New commenter

    Hello!

    I am currently working 2 days a week in apart time job (child minding assistant), doing supply the other 3 days (when there is work! Usually 1/2 days a week) and trying to find my first position as a class teacher (primary).

    At the moment I am working on applications for roughly 35 schools. The vast majority have 'visits to the school warmly welcomed' or similar in the job advert. As far as I'm aware, this is a sort of code for 'we are expecting so many applications that we won't entertain your application unless you come visit the school.' Indeed, at the majority of school visits I have been on, there has been some form of 'register' whereby the school can take note of who has actually visited. One Head even went as far as saying it was an informal part of the selection process. Of course, I understand that in the current climate it must be a slog going through the hundreds of applications that come in, and schools need a way to make an initial cut...

    My problem however, is that a lot of school visits take place either during the school day, or just after school has finished, when I am either working my part time job (which I need in order to be able to pay the rent...) or I am not sure if I will be working on supply that day.

    How do other people juggle the demand of school visits alongside other jobs / supply? I can't really ask for time off every time I have a school visit, as I would never be at work! I am starting to think it is going to be an impossible task to even get an interview (I've had 1 since I started job hunting a year ago, and was 'pipped to the post')

    Is it ever possible to get an interview without going on a school visit?

    :(
     
  2. Sheeee

    Sheeee New commenter

    Hello!

    I am currently working 2 days a week in apart time job (child minding assistant), doing supply the other 3 days (when there is work! Usually 1/2 days a week) and trying to find my first position as a class teacher (primary).

    At the moment I am working on applications for roughly 35 schools. The vast majority have 'visits to the school warmly welcomed' or similar in the job advert. As far as I'm aware, this is a sort of code for 'we are expecting so many applications that we won't entertain your application unless you come visit the school.' Indeed, at the majority of school visits I have been on, there has been some form of 'register' whereby the school can take note of who has actually visited. One Head even went as far as saying it was an informal part of the selection process. Of course, I understand that in the current climate it must be a slog going through the hundreds of applications that come in, and schools need a way to make an initial cut...

    My problem however, is that a lot of school visits take place either during the school day, or just after school has finished, when I am either working my part time job (which I need in order to be able to pay the rent...) or I am not sure if I will be working on supply that day.

    How do other people juggle the demand of school visits alongside other jobs / supply? I can't really ask for time off every time I have a school visit, as I would never be at work! I am starting to think it is going to be an impossible task to even get an interview (I've had 1 since I started job hunting a year ago, and was 'pipped to the post')

    Is it ever possible to get an interview without going on a school visit?

    :(
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    This is a big problem, and also a big discussion point; I think that it is very unfair.
    Read this thread - after a couple of posts, there is some excellent, extremely useful advice from one poster, LadyKaza.
    School visits
    And also make sure that you read all the advice inside the Shortlising posts in the Welcome thread. This thread also gives a general summary of the steps for job hunting.
    Am I doing enough?
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
    I shall be contributing to the Moving into SLT seminar on 5th May.
     
  4. Sheeee

    Sheeee New commenter

    Thanks Theo, those look really interesting.

    I agree that it is very unfair - it certainly feels unfair!

    I will have a good read of those and keep on applying...
     
  5. Sillow

    Sillow Senior commenter

    I've been making school visits at 4pm or 4:30pm. It's very difficult, I agree, and you definitely get the impression that if you don't look round you won't even be considered for shortlisting.
    I went to see a school today and not only did I decide half-way round that it wasn't the school for me (but was too polite to make my excuses so had to listen to a lot of stuff I wasn't interested in AND look interested the whole time), but the woman kept saying to the 4 of us "It's a shame you weren't here on Tuesday morning with the other candidates. The school was so vibrant!" I wanted to shout at her that I had a Year 6 class getting ready for tests and couldn't just swan out of my job for a look around a different school.
    Why do they assume that teachers have nothing better to do on a Tuesday morning? Invite me for interview and I'll get a feel for a school then, thanks!
     
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Exactly!
    In fact many independent schools have an individual school visit - quite often done by pupils, so you can really see what it's like - on interview day, before you start off the interviews or teaching.
    Much better idea.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
    I shall be contributing to the Moving into SLT seminar on 5th May.
     
  7. Sillow

    Sillow Senior commenter

    I agree! I do remember I was taken aback when I applied for an indy and asked about a visit - they said only for shortlisted candidates. I was surprised at the time but now think it's the way forward!
     
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    It's certainly much cheaper for you all!
    Good luck
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
    I shall be contributing to the Moving into SLT seminar on 5th May.
     
  9. If it helps prospective candidates - of the three jobs I have gained in the last two years, I only visited one of the schools. Didn't visit the other two because of the tight time scale of applying for one and the fact I was perparing for SATs and then at camp with Year 6, and didn't visit the other because I was teaching at the times of their visit appointments. Still gained interviews and got the jobs.
    Personally I wouldn't want to work in a school that doesn't understand I have a commitment to the children I am currently teaching and who set stupid times like 10am or 2.30pm to visit. Even 4pm can be difficult if your own school doesn't finish until 3.30pm and you have to see the children off and maybe speak to a couple of parents.
    I found ringing them and explaining why I couldn't visit (e.g. I am actually teaching and I am teaching Year 6 - I am sure you understand) and asking if there is anything I specifically need to know that people who have visited will be told and I am usually told everything I need is in the application pack.
    The only thing school visits really allow you to do imho is meet the head (or whoever is showing you around) and decide whether you like them or not - after on visit I did decide there was no way I could work for one head for various reasons and it allows you to visualise the school - that's it! I have gained a better feel on interview day when you work with the children and are able to talk to the staff.
     
  10. Altho I am free to visit a school during the day (not currently working), petrol costs are an issue (due to no income). However, if it'll increase my chances of getting that permanent job, I'll do anything!


    What would you recommend for schools that don't mention anything about a visit?
     

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