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Finding your first teaching post - for September 2016

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by John_in_Luton, Sep 15, 2015.

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  1. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    Good old TES - when I wrote this, the sections were numbered, but the website's changed them all to 1! Oh, well, you get the idea...
  2. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Well done John - we know everything is number one with you!

    The recruitment fair season is about to start - Cambridge is first up on 20th October

    Good Hunting
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    So you know WHERE and WHEN you are going to be hunting for jobs.

    But what about HOW to apply?

    We have large numbers of advice blog articles here on the TES Forum, to help with job seeking in general.

    Here are the first two sets, on Looking for a job and Applying for a job.

    Later on, I can give you the links to Preparing for Interview, How to accept a job (yes, there is a proper way!) and Starting a job.

    <h2>Good luck!</h2>
    1. Looking for a job in a school I suggest that you read these in this order

    Get ready for the application season! * * * Must Read * * *

    Why you shouldn't look at non-specialist sites for job application advice :)

    Writing speculative letters and sending CVs to schools, just in case . . .

    <h4>Jobseeking for the older candidate ***NEW ***</h4>
    Get the TES Jobs App

    How to set up a Job Alert

    Are Academies right for me?

    Being on supply for ever!

    No job for induction . . .

    I got QTS ages ago, but have never done my induction year. Can I still apply for jobs as a NQT?

    The jobs have all dried up! Will there be more jobs for next term?

    Why don't schools write back when you apply, or ring after an interview?

    2. Applying for a job in a school I suggest that you read these in this order.

    NQTs start here! *** N.B. ***

    Do I have to tell my Head I am applying elsewhere?

    Pre-application visits to schools

    <h4>Why you should always include an E.S. in an application***NEW ***</h4>
    How to get shortlisted for a teaching job *** The basic advice***

    How NOT to get shortlisted

    How do schools shortlist candidates?

    Common errors found in applications

    The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth!

    Who should be my referees?

    Can I see my references?

    Can your Head write a negative reference for you? Or refuse to write one? Can you see what was written... ***NEW ***

    Step-by-step: How to write an E.S. *** More basic advice ***

    Executive summaries - where to start when no person specification

    Person Spec too long - how do I do an E.S.? And where do I put it? *** Beginners start here ***

    Application form: how to present long list of posts outside education

    How can I provide details of examination results?

    Can I omit, on an application, a period spent teaching abroad?

    No CPD to put on the application form!

    5 common errors in applications

    <h2>N.B. I shall not come back here to look at this thread - if you have a query for me, put it on the Jobseekers Forum. </h2>

    Best wishes


    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, where she answers jobseeking and careers queries regularly each week.
  4. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    Hey, where did our original post go? No wonder we've not had any responses! Here it is again...

    Every year, my old mate Welshwizard (stress on the ‘old’) and I team up to do an epistle to the teacher training populace with advice on the job-hunting process, and this year he tells me it’s my turn. So here’s the issue for those looking for jobs for September 2016…

    The good news is, thanks to the unrelenting efforts of Michael Gove and his government colleagues to bash schools and teachers with uninformed negative publicity at every opportunity (I except Nicky Morgan from this, by the way, she has done her best to rebuild some of the relationships trodden into the dust by Gove and his mates), allied to the sheer chaos created in teacher training by the egregious implementation of the School Direct programme, there is now the most serious crisis in teacher recruitment seen in living memory. Which is good news for you, and the opposite for the likes of me and WW.

    However, there are things it would still help you to be aware of about the job market and how it works, so let’s run through some of them.

    No, not the academic subject, but the regional aspect of recruitment. The best part of the country for your jobs search is still London and the south east of England, as this is where the number of vacancies for almost all subjects is greatest. However, I am starting to hear of vacancies in other parts where for the past ten years there has been little or nothing going for NQTs, like the West Country. Remarkably, I even heard of an NQT getting a job in Wales last summer, which is a bit like finding a snowman in the Sahara Desert. Jobs have also historically been few and far between in the north, but some are starting to appear – though your best bet in the north of England is still likely to be in the industrial towns and cities, and not in rural areas. Or, if you’re flexible, then head south where you’re more likely to secure a permanent post!

    You might start hearing about one or two colleagues on your course getting jobs as early as just before Christmas – particularly if yours is one of the secondary shortage subjects – but the main recruitment season is March to May. This is when the majority of you will secure jobs, though don’t panic if you’re still looking at the end of May. This is because May 31 is the deadline for any teacher currently in post to move schools for September, so after June 1 only fellow NQTs, and a handful of others like supply teachers or returners coming back from a career break, will be able to apply, which will significantly reduce the competition for jobs.

    By the way, a word at this point on the commercial supply agencies. In the current climate, where jobs are easily found, you do not need to use an agency to secure a job for yourself, and in fact you might be placing yourself at a disadvantage if you do, as the agencies will charge a substantial fee – well into four figures, if not more – to a school for placing you. So, think it through. Would WW or I rather have a teacher who has applied directly to us, who will only cost us the price of an advert, and then the usual salary and on costs? Or would we want to pay several grand to an agency? And if you are employed through an agency and not on contract to the school, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to start your NQT year (unless you’re in Wales, where the regulations are different). So, while agencies may have a place in your job hunting, it’s linked to a time, and that time is June when it’s starting to look as if you won’t find anything under your own steam, and when schools are starting to panic and are more likely to recruit through an agency.

    Finding out about jobs
    So how do you find out about jobs? Well, secondary schools will often advertise in the TES, so it’s worth setting up job alerts here (if you’re not sure how, nip across to the jobseekers’ forum and TheoGriff will advise). Primary schools won’t usually go through the TES, at least not for NQT posts, so for them you want to make sure you’ve got access to the local free papers. Primaries will often also use the Local Authority website, if the LA is still in operation (some have collapsed because of the savage government cuts). A handful of LAs still operate primary pools, though these can be a curate’s egg – the ones in the London area, for example, still function well by and large, but some of the ones in the northern cities are less effective. A few years back, the Manchester one still had 300 aspiring NQTs on their books on September 1, for example. Because recruitment is so easy up there, schools tended to bypass the pool and do their own recruitment anyway. The best way of finding a job is still word of mouth – hearing from a friend, colleague or fellow student that there’s a job going in the school down the road. So build your networks so you hear about it when these jobs come along.

    Another look at the market, this time by subject. First of all, primary. While there are now some jobs to be had in the north and west, you’re still better off looking south and east if you can. Even if ultimately you want to live in Devon, or the Lake District, you’re increasing your chances if you head to the south east for at least a couple of years to get some experience, which will then put you in a stronger position to complete in your desired area. For NQT posts, even in the current climate you’ll be looking at a couple of hundred applicants per job in places like Bristol, Exeter, Manchester etc. Several years ago (when there wasn’t a recruitment crisis, admittedly), a primary school in Liverpool advertised for an NQT and got 1,000 applications. In the south east, we celebrate if we get into double figures…

    For secondary, it depends on subject. English, maths and science have long been in short supply across the country (except in the minds of the idiots at the DfE who have completely failed to recognise the crying need for more English teachers for the past ten years), but humanities is now up there with them. It’s not quite so bad for most of the other subjects, often because the departments are smaller in the schools and so are less subject to staff turnover. The bad news is for teachers of subjects like art, drama and especially PE. PE is probably the only subject where there are actually more trainees than there are jobs, so you’re likely to struggle, I’m afraid. All you can do is spread your net as widely as possible, and be prepared to travel if needs be to secure a job.

    University recruitment fairs
    Some universities have these, and if the one you’re attached to does, it’s well worth going along. They’re mostly between October and February. WW and I sometimes pop up at them, along with a handful of our brethren from schools and Local Authorities, and it’s a good place to glean intelligence about the jobs market in your area (e.g. if your own Local Authority doesn’t bother to turn up, it tells you something about the need for NQTs locally!). It’s also a chance for you to find out more from the representatives of the LAs and groups of schools that are there, and you might find yourself being influenced towards a school or area that you previously weren’t aware of but which would actually suit you.

    What you will also find in most of them, mobbing you like starlings, is the agencies. Most of them will be falling over themselves to promise you the earth in order to get you to register with them – I’ve often stood there in sheer disbelief at the claptrap which is being peddled at the next table in order to get some naïve NQT to sign up. All that most of them are after is to get your name so they can show they’ve met their targets, and also so that if you then get a job through your own efforts and they find out about it, they can try to claim a fee from the school for ‘introducing’ you. Take their details by all means, because you might need them come the summer if nothing else has worked out for you, but take their promises with a pinch of salt. NB there are some decent, honest agencies who will play fair, but these tend to be the small local ones, by and large.

    WW and I will usually post on here when we’re aware of a fair which is coming up in the near future. The first big one this year is Cambridge, in the middle of next month.

    I’m School Direct – I don’t need to worry about looking for a job
    Ho, ho, ho to quote a man who will be omnipresent in a couple of months, and yes that is a pig flying past your classroom window. As schools, we will appoint the best teacher we can find to put in front of our children. Yes, with School Direct there is an ‘expectation’ that a job will be found for you in your training school or group of schools, but in reality if we advertise and someone better comes along for interview, we’ll take them. Also, we’re asked to predict some 18 months in advance what vacancies we’ll have when we recruit to School Direct, and no-one’s crystal ball is that good. With the best will in the world, we may simply not have a vacancy that we can fit you in to. Last year I encountered the ‘I’m School Direct, my school will find me a job’ attitude at a number of universities, and I suspect that many of those trainees are scratching out a living doing supply right now, having missed the boat with applications.

    So, we hope that this is useful, and between us we’re happy to try to answer any questions that you might have as we go through the year. We’ll also keep you updated on recruitment fairs as they come along.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter



    My post above includes links to Old-TES that are no longer valid. Ignore this post completely . . .

    Thread locked so that it will drop down.

  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

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