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Dear Theo..

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by dangerousdan, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    Apologies if this has been asked many times before....
    A colleague has told me of a position that is apparently coming up at another school which would be a good career move for me. The position has not yet been advertised.
    Is it acceptable or appropriate to contact the Head with a letter explaining that I would love to work at the school should the right position ever be available?
    Also, would there be much point in doing this? I am assuming that teaching positions need to be advertised - so should I just wait until the advert comes out?
    I thought it would be wise to ask before just going ahead - I wouldn't want to mess things up for myself by doing something silly.
    I would value your opinion on this,

    Thanks, Dan
     
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Wait for the ad and apply in the usual manner. Most heads stick rigidly to their school's governors-agreed recruitment policy and would not look well upon any attempts to circumvent it.
     
  3. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    I certainly would not see the harm in this - especially as you are not mentioning any actual position. Technically jobs do need to be advertised, but they do not need to be advertised nationally on TES/E-teach, just the school's website or local paper is sufficient, I believe. You are not asking to bypass the system, just to be beared in mind should any job come up... which of course, you would then apply for in the usual way. If I am wrong, I am sure Theo will correct me!
     
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Asking to be borne in mind should a job come up is pointless. You will be borne in mind if you apply in the usual manner. They won't ring you up to tell you it's been advertised and 'could you apply?'
    My point is the heads can get irritated by 'cold calls' (i.e. speculative letters) in the same way as we all do when mithered by companies whose attention we have not sought.
    Saying 'there's no harm in it' isn't actually true. Sometimes there is.
     
  5. Goaliesash

    Goaliesash New commenter

    From another point of view - years ago I sent a speculative letter to an independent school to say that I would like to work at the school and could they please bear me in mind if that had a position come up. It was a brief letter but it included my experience and all the extra-curricular things I could offer.
    I was invited for an informal chat which went well, and a few months later I received a letter saying that they were advertising a job in the TES next week and they would very much like me to apply. Sure enough I got the job.
    Sasha
     
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    What happens or happened in the independent sector is not a mirror of what happens in the state sector.
    And what happened years ago, when there were more jobs than teachers in some subjects and areas, is certainly no indicator of what happens today.
    • <address>A school has a vacancy, Unless it is a Head or Deputy in a state school, it is not obliged by law to advertise the position, although there may well be a local rule Governors or Local Authority insist) that means that they do.</address><address></address>
    • <address>They can expect to get large numbers of applicants nowadays for very many posts. In addition to wading through all those applications, are they going to go back through their files to see if anyone showed an interest, and write to them to tell them there is an advert out, so they should apply?</address><address></address>
    • <address>Logic suggests that if you are interested in that school, you should keep an eye out yourself for the ad, not sit back and wait for them to tell you it is there.</address><address></address>
    • <address>And logic should also tell you that in most schools, one of the jobs of the secretary is to go through the post and weed out all the begging letters and throw them away before the Head is bothered by them.</address>
    <address>(Logic also suggests that there is a way to stop this post being all in italic, but select and click as I do, nothing changes it. Sorry!)</address><address></address> 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.
    www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars
     
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, you are wrong!
    Sorry. :(
    The secretary is supposed to protect us from that sort of annoyance.
    My reaction always is: "Does she really think I am going to (a) bother to tell her there's a job going, when she cannot be bothered to look in the TES? or (b) give even a moment's extra thought to her application, just because she wrote to me beforehand?
    That would be unfair on other applicants who didn't write to me. If that is one of the criteria for selection for interview (wrote annoying speculative letter out of the blue), then we should say so.
    The Governors would not like preferential treatment being given in this manner.
    So, don't do it.
    (P.S. the past participle of To bear in mind is borne in mind . . .)
    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.
    www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars
     
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I used this twice in my second post, by way of demonstration.
    Thanks, Theo, for backing me up. Sometimes, being an experienced head appears to count for nothing when the 'go for it!' crowd come along.
     
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Middlemarch is actually making a very valid point here.
    There are lots of kind people who post encouragingly to boost other people's confidence.
    That is excellent.
    BUT . . . . .
    Sometimes the "advice" given by some posters is not helpful, in fact it is inaccurate.
    I am the Appointments Expert, and am a Consultant for helping schools appoint new staff.
    Middlemarsh is an experienced Head.
    We actually know what we are talking about . . . .
    Do take care in both giving and accepting advice.
    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.
    www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars

     
  10. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    thanks very much for the grammar lesson, feel suitably chastised for my poor lack of grammar... and of course, for my poor advice.
     
  11. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    How do you think it would look if you sent a letter to a headteacher saying 'Could my interest be beared in mind?'
    Do you not want to know how to write properly?
     
  12. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    I thanked you genuinely. I am sorry that you misinterpreted this.
     

  13. Now come on Theo and Middlemarch lay off FollyFairy - he/she was only asking after all even though he/she was totally wrong. The forum is there to put right misconceptions after all.
     

  14. By the way the incorrect syntax could perhaps be a dyslexia problem and so should not be (I think) rather harshly dealt with by such luminaries as yourselves. By all means point out the error of their ways - I thought we cared.
     
  15. Well....., you are beginning to sound a little snappy now. But I guess you've had a hard day teaching like the rest of us. If I were you I'd treat myself to a nice cup of tea and a biscuit. It's hardly worth fighting over.
     
  16. Or my other current favourite, a lychee martini .... mmmmm .... delicious!
     
  17. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    Not that I wish to continue this argument, however, I will state that I already apologised for my mistakes. Therefore, noting that I had made mistakes, was there any real need to point it out to me again? I certainly did not say at ANY POINT that I believed my error was correct - this, again, is your interpretation of my post, not my intention.
     

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