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Dear Theo-potential graduate positions

Discussion in 'Independent' started by legricea, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Hi Theo,
    I'm currently in my final year of my degree and applying for secondary PGCE in Biology but I am also looking to apply for year long positions as some sort of boarding/teaching/gap assistant in an independent sector. I am wondering when any vacancies for this sort of thing will open up and how competitive they'll be to get. Also do you think they'll be less vacancies available because of the current economic climate.

    any help/ advice will be welcome
  2. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Before Theo gets here, this is something which I had looked into when I was in your position.

    The majority of gap year posts seem to be filled by prior arrangement with agencies that place students from other English-speaking countries into UK schools. I think UK applicants tend to end up going abroad. The ones I've met (not just at my current school) are often involved in boarding, and their main contributions to school life are overwhelmingly sports-based.

    Between my BA and MA I did a gap year involving some evening community work, but I still had mornings/afternoons free. When I had a post in London, I emailed round a number of independent schools (prep and senior) in the area, and though they were very polite and some even invited me round to have a look, I didn't get anywhere: the majority were already sorted for gappies by prior arrangement, and those who weren't were after someone who would mostly do sport, with classroom assistant work not really available.

    Sorry to discourage you. I did, a year or so ago when looking at agency work, see that some teaching agencies were advertising boarding assistant posts in a school: this wasn't, however, in the TES. In fact, looking through my emails, it was with Connaught Education. Have no idea whether such things come up regularly, or whether they are normally advertised nationally.

    I've already said too much as I've only got a couple of years of experience and you want someone more qualified! Good luck applying for the PGCE and I know that when I expressed an interest in boarding, etc, at my interview, that worked in my favour in getting me the job I have now.
  3. Hi, I worked in a boarding school last year and they were always on the look out for 'Gaps' - after all, they're virtually free (they're usually unpaid or very lowly paid - with board and food for free) so the more the merrier. I don't think they ever really advertised them as such - they tended to just get people writing in letters, often through word of mouth. I would advise writing a letter and sending it off to schools you would be interested in working in. I'd be surprised if you weren't snapped up.
  4. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    We get foreign (mainly Australian) gap students - there change over time is Dec/Jan so wouldn't fit with the UK system of the academic year starting in Sept/Oct.
    When I applied for my PGCE the provider (UWE) wouldn't count the 3 months work experience that I did in an independent school as experience in a school, they would only accept state school experience.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    There is some excellent advice above from people who know more about it than I do - my only Boarding experience is light years ago.
    But here is a cautionary tale:
    unqualified teacher struggling in independent school
    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.
  6. Check the TES jobs. A top UK independent school was advertising for a graduate teacher of biology a couple of weeks ago! (A friend of mine did this job before her PGCE and loved it.)

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