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Finding a job for September 2011 - when, where and how!

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by John_in_Luton, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    I originally posted this advice a couple of years ago at this time, but I’ve updated it again. Hope you find it useful in job-hunting.
    Last year the market changed noticeably, and job-hunting seems to be tougher out there than it has been in previous years, so pin back your ears!
    <font size="3"></font>One early indicator of the recruitment season is the university recruitment fair. Many of the universities will hold a recruitment fair, which is when people like me from the local authorities will roll up and try to convince you that ours is the only local authority you could possibly wish to work for (true in the case of Luton, of course, but the other 150-odd local authorities are liars, don't believe a word they say!). Find out from your careers department if your university is holding a fair, and if it is, make sure you go along - you can pick up a lot of useful advice on the jobs market in particular areas, as well as coming away with an armful of freebies (Luton has a splendid line in highlighters, for example, and I usually have a large tin of chocolates with me too. We know how to look after our NQTs). I usually start getting shopping lists for NQTs from the high schools just before Christmas, and the first appointments in primary schools across the country tend to be in late January or early February - though in Luton we run a pool for primary, so most of my schools will hang fire and see who they can snap up by that route.
    Pools vary, in deadlines, process and effectiveness, and not all authorities have them - in the eastern region, for example, it's only us and Suffolk, and Milton Keynes who are not technically eastern region but who are just up the road from me. In our case, everyone who is accepted on to our pool will get a job here, and that's probably true for the London ones as well for example, but I have heard that in other parts of the country where there is less demand, the pools don't work as quickly or as well.
    The advantage of a pool like ours is that you only get put through the interview mill once - survive the experience and you go on the list, and that's it, you just sit back and wait for the offers to flood in, no more sweating over application forms every weekend.
    Find out from Local Authority websites, or at recruitment fairs, whether the ones you're interested in have a pool.
    <font size="3"></font>As I&rsquo;ve said, the first job appointments will happen in late December for secondary, and probably late January for primary, but the bulk of you will get jobs between Easter and the end of May, which is the peak period. It tends to be governed by the resignation deadline, whereby any teacher currently in post and looking to move to a new school for September has to submit their resignation by May 31. And there is a noticeable domino effect created by senior appointments; the head of School A retires or moves on, creating a vacancy; the job is advertised, and the deputy of School B is appointed to the headship (probably a couple of months or so down the line), creating a vacancy for a deputy; some weeks later, the assistant head of School C is appointed to that post, and so on until somewhere in May, school F suddenly discovers that a teacher is moving on for a promotion, and they need an NQT to replace them. And that&rsquo;s where you come in.
    <font size="3"></font>Where do you look for jobs? Well, to some extent that's down to phase, and also geography. Secondary schools tend to advertise in the TES, and primaries are more likely to go for Local Authority websites and the local papers. The D of E has its much-touted Schools Recruitment Service, but it&rsquo;s not as widely used by schools or LAs as it tries to claim. Word of mouth can be crucial, so keep your ears open for your friends, or other teachers when you're out on placement, telling you about jobs going in the school down the road.
    As for the market, jobs for primary teachers are few and far between in the north and the south west, so in places like Exeter or Liverpool a primary school may well get something like 300 applications for one job (one NQT post in the north west last October attracted 1,000 applicants, so I heard).
    So if you're in those areas and you can relocate, at least to get a couple of years' experience under your belt, you're better off looking at London and the south east (and especially, of course, Luton), where there&rsquo;s less competition.
    For secondary, it depends on subject. Science and maths are shortage subjects everywhere (except South Wales, I&rsquo;m told), and the one we're all particularly desperate for, especially here in the south east, is English - since the TDA decided to slash the number of training places for English, we can't get English teachers for love nor money.
    Other subjects often depend on whether the local university trains teachers in it or not, so for example in this area we have a shortage of geography teachers but that won't be the case 50 miles up the road in Cambridge, where the university has a geography course. And if your subject is art, or history, you might want to consider casting your net over as wide an area as possible when looking for jobs.
    <font size="3"></font>It's also worth finding out whether your preferred Local Authority has a Teacher Recruitment department, i.e. someone like me, that can advise you on local procedures. I operate a central clearing house for applications, both primary and secondary, which is why I refer to the schools sending me their shopping lists - they tell me what subjects they need, and I go through all the applications I receive centrally and pass them on to the schools for them to contact you directly. Some other authorities operate similar systems, though obviously they won't do it as well as me. It's worth your finding out, anyway. The more different options you have, the better.
    <font size="3"></font>So keep your eye open for recruitment fairs; they're mostly between October and February half terms, and I (or my colleagues if there's two on the same day) will be doing the rounds of them. We&rsquo;ve already got dates for some of them, but there are some still to confirm, and not all universities will have a recruitment fair. If yours doesn&rsquo;t, and there&rsquo;s another university nearby that is holding a fair, you might be able to sneak in. I&rsquo;ll put posts here to update you as new dates for fairs are confirmed, and I&rsquo;m sure others like m&rsquo;learned friend the WelshWizard will also contribute their pennyworth &ndash; but if your university is holding a fair and I don&rsquo;t mention it here, tip me off because it means us lot in the south east (where the jobs are) don&rsquo;t know about it. <font size="3"></font>If you're looking for advice on the next steps, the unions produce booklets with good advice, there are TheoGriff's posts on the Jobseeker forum on how to write an application, my colleagues in other authorities can advise you on local conditions, and if you sign up with me at a fair I also email out advice on the various stages along with my regular job alerts on posts coming up in Luton (some of which are not advertised as the schools have come to depend on what they can recruit through me). And if you find this post useful, one more tip - if you reply to it, it helps to keep it bumped up onto the front page of this forum so other student teachers are likely to see it too, and hopefully benefit from it or at least be reassured!
  2. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    A welcome return although a notice a larger font this year as his eyesight is starting to diminish !
    The Teacher recruitment fairs kick of this year over half term with UEA on 25th Oct, Canterbury 26th, Plymouth and Greeenwich 27th,Anglia 28th. These are busy events so look forward to meeting the new batch of teachers.
  3. Thanks John in Luton - very informative and all very exciting too!!!
  4. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    WW - all I did was cut and past from last year's, via editing on Word to update the content. Must have been the TES that decided what font I wanted to use!
    Chichester are also in that first week of fairs, so one or two authorities might turn up there. If you're a student at Chester, though, don't expect to see many recruiters at the fair. We told them they'd picked the wrong week and that none of us could attend, but 'it was the best time for the Faculty' was the response. Oh, so that's all right, then. You'll be able to talk to lots of commercial supply agencies, no doubt.
  5. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    Come to think of it, the TES seems to have decided to take out all my careful paragraphing as well. Such is life! Hope it's still readable.
  6. Thanks for the advice! It is useful for me - I am about to start a PGCE and will be looking for a job in Luton when hopefully I have succesfully completed it!
  7. Thanks for the advice. Very interesting. I'm training in the South West, but am interested in teaching in the South East (Surrey, Hampshire etc), would I be able to go to a teaching fair in this area, if there is one?
  8. Thanks John.
    I start my PGCE (Secondary ICT at Nottingham) next week.
    When do I start job hunting? I had thought it would be March + next year but you implied Christmas for a December start?
    Also how likely is it that a PGCE student will be working in school in July? Will I be looking at 2 mths at Tesco instead?
  9. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    You'll be looking for that job before you complete, I would hope, stressedoutmum! If you're with a local training organisation like the Shire or Bedfordshire Uni, I'll be coming to you (the Beds fair is in January). Otherwise, track me down and drop me an email and I'll add you to my mailing list so you don't miss application deadlines.
    Other universities upon which I shall be shining the light of my countenance this year (and WelshWizard might be glowering in a corner at some of them too) include:
    UEA, Canterbury, Plymouth, Cambridge, Oxford Brookes, Edge Hill, York St John, Cumbria, Northampton, Herts, the Institute, Portsmouth, Swansea, Bangor, Reading, Liverpool Hope. Jacky, my eager assistant, will be pretending to be me at ARU and Roehampton. WW and I will be posting dates up nearer the time.
    If you're not at one of these, but Luton is on your wish list when it comes to finding a job, drop me a line.
  10. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    2525: in terms of fairs, those authorities that are actively recruiting in your area will come to you. Having said which, some universities don't mind students from other local providers wandering in when they hold a fair (e.g. York St John, who actively invite students from York Uni, and where last year I also spoke to a couple of students from Leeds). Others can be a bit more prickly with outsiders. So if you've seen that a university other than your own is holding a fair and you want to go along, the best thing might be to ring the careers department (they're usually the organisers) and ask if they'd mind.
    The bad news is that I rarely see reps from either Surrey or Hampshire on the recruitment circuit, certainly not outside their own local area (so they'll probably be at Portsmouth and Brighton, for example, but won't be joining me in Plymouth or Lancaster). So your best bet might be to go on their websites and see if you can track down information about teacher recruitment.
  11. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    Evil, or would you prefer Pixie:
    Nope, I implied that the first secondary trainees to get jobs might well get snapped up this Christmas to start next September. Which would take off some of the pressure in the second half of your course, knowing that you'd already got a job provided you pass all your assignments, skills tests etc. Though the peak season for recruitment is indeed March to May.
    Likelihood of a school starting you early? At a guess, 50-50. Maybe slightly better odds than that in your case, because ICT teachers don't grow on trees. Some schools will start you in July (on the unqualified pay scale until Aug 31) so that you get paid over August, others will look at their budgets, suck their teeth, and start you on September 1. Don't let that influence you if you're in the happy position of choosing between two schools. Pick the one where you think you're going to be happiest (and best supported as an NQT).
  12. Thanks. I'll be at Plymouth, and will try and get to Portsmouth's.
  13. HI John, you say that recruitment can start in December - is that for positions starting in January, or September 2011? If you are training at the moment can you only start looking for jobs at Easter for September 2011, or is it worth looking earlier? Would an appointment be conditional on you passing your course and getting QTS? Many thanks.
  14. Oops sorry, just saw your reply above to EvilPixie. I am really surprised schools would recruit so far in advance!
  15. Thanks John ... sorry my error head was so shocked at a December start for job hunting! I meant September!
    Thanks for the advice - I guess we should look here from what you say, but also speak to uni about fairs at the uni and close by.
    I don't suppose you know what Nottingham Trent do by any chance!! My course starts Monday would that be a bit soon to ask my tutor about jobs ?!?! [​IMG]
  16. primenumbers

    primenumbers New commenter

    I can't remember if Trent did anything last year for the whole school. For Maths they held a couple of sessions on writing CV, covering letter and interview. The career services is ok, they can help you a little bit but they do not know much about teaching jobs. Your tutor is the best bet but dont ask them now. I would recommend writing a letter of application and ask your tutor to look at after Christmas. By then you probably know what kind of teacher you are and it will reflect on your letter, or you might get offered a job by your first placement already :)
    By the way, from personal experience, if you want to get a good school then start applying early.
  17. The prospects.ac.uk website has some good advice on looking for a teaching job.
  18. Thanks! I appreciate the advice
  19. I'm quite worried about this as I'll be doing my PGCE at Exeter, where I did my undergrad degree, but I'm actually from Essex and my close family still live here, whereas other relatives and friends are spread all over the place. So I don't know that I'd want to live in Devon permanently, but I've heard that it's really common for a lot of PGCE trainees to be offered jobs in one of their placement schools, and with the jobs market being as bad as it is at the moment (likely to get worse as well with the forthcoming cuts) would I be stupid to turn down a job there if I were lucky enough to be offered one? That's why I had doubts about going back to Exeter for the PGCE, but the only local university that does it is Anglia Ruskin and I've heard that's rubbish both for teaching and generally, whereas Exeter is one of the best in the country for the PGCE and good generally as well. I'll be doing secondary French with Spanish, if it makes a difference. Any advice on the location problem or anything Exeter does to help its trainees find jobs would be greatly appreciated!
  20. Thanks for re-starting this thread again John, I followed it last year in anticipation of being a student teacher this year, and as of tomorrow I will be. Are you doing the e-mail list for info this year yet?

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