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Help getting shortlisted.

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by sforte, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. sforte

    sforte New commenter

    Hi, I'm just after some application advice please. I've been teaching for 20 years. I left my job at an International School after working for just under five years and returned back to the UK in January 2020 because of a family illness. I am now working as an internal PPA but not on contract (not in school at the moment because of the COVID 19 situation). I have been sending out my applications for a permanent Class Teacher position and really struggling to get any interviews. I've applied to 9 schools for Class Teacher posts and not heard back. I have asked a teacher friend to read my application and she seems to think that it's a good application but I'm not sure I've got the right approach as I don't seem to be getting shortlisted. I address all of the points in the person spec. I do it in the order/group that they are given and where possible I give examples. I try to avoid 'I did xyz' /'I think abc' type sentences. I give examples and I include an executive summary. I was wondering if anyone could give me a second opinion on my application or any suggestions as to why I'm not getting shortlisted.
    Any and all advice very welcome!

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I was in a similar position years ago, though I hadn't been abroad, but an extended time off to have my family and I found one of the biggest problems was school budgets. Experienced teachers struggle to get shortlisted, or if they do get an interview, to actually get the job, because they are more expensive. One school the Head was quite upfront and owned up to saying ,"For your salary I can get the NQT teacher currently finishing her degree on placement here and a TA in the class as well."

    Another Head, who had been a colleague years before I actually approached and asked why I hadn't even scored an interview and she looked at me blankly. She confessed she had no idea I'd applied, DH had dealt with shortlisting and had applications from 35 new teachers and reckoned she just wouldn't even botehr looking at any 'experienced teacher' applications.

    To get an ordinary class teacher position as an experienced teacher is difficult and of course without that experience one can't really apply for the promoted posts, where there is of course extra budget. Catch 22 situation I found. :rolleyes:
    steely1 likes this.
  3. sforte

    sforte New commenter

  4. sforte

    sforte New commenter

    Thank you for your reply. So what does one do?
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    How do you think you compare to the competition who may have more recent experience of teaching in the UK?

    Your problem imho will be getting your foot in the door if you want the state sector. That may mean you look at p/t positions or long term supply imo.

    Alternatively - have you considered the private sector which may be easier for you to get into?
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    In my case I was fortunate enough to be able to go on supply, having a husband who could support us for the basic bills and we lived very frugally.

    Being experienced and 'proving myself I was often offered long-term sickness cover often lasting six months and I rarely had long periods without work and we managed.
    Took me 17 years on supply to finally get a permanent position.
    steely1 likes this.
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Valid point there.
    With me the longer I was on supply, the more it became an elephant in the room, Why hasn't she found a post yet? What's wrong with her ? Whereas with you the 'elephant' may be 'how conversant are they with the National Curriculum, current awareness of discipline issues here , aware of current teaching initiatives etc. . . . . .?'.
    TheoGriff and steely1 like this.
  8. install

    install Star commenter


    There is a ranking imho when it comes to applicants, but it depends on the school need at a point in time. For example the highest ranked can be any of these at a given point in time imo:

    Experience of taking a UK cohort through from start to finish and employed by the school


    A newly qualifiedteacher, depending on school need


    An ‘internal’ applicant (including a Supply who has worked at the school)
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
  9. Mad max

    Mad max New commenter

    I do seem to get interviews, but unfortunately the older more experienced teachers (In my case 20 years experience in mid 40's) no one wants to know. However I do always seam to get contracts that last over a year but they would rather the younger naive yes people. Very ageist, sexist and racist profession in a lot of cases.
  10. sforte

    sforte New commenter

    Oh dear! Doesn't sound very promising :(
  11. ybadat

    ybadat New commenter

    Maybe your application statement needs to be more tailored to the school specifically?
    E.g. "I have seen in your behaviour management policy that... in my experience...
    TheoGriff likes this.
  12. musobob

    musobob New commenter

    I very much agree.
    Mad max likes this.
  13. Mad max

    Mad max New commenter

    Every life matters. It's a shame a lot of schools don't know that and Senior management just pander to there friends needs and treat others not in there circle of friends so unjust and unfair. Inequality still exists in the public sector as we here now in the news not just in the health or police, but also in the education sector too.
  14. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Tick here.

    Tick here.

    Tick here.

    If there's an E.S., this should be covered, I hope, But certainly important to delve into their website and see their ethos and values. Don't delve into their Ofsted report, however, with happy ideas for coming in and improving them!

    Shouldn't be an unmentioned elephant. Anything slightly out of the norm (e.g. in employment, for several years, in school in UK) must be addressed in the application so that they don't start wondering!

    That is certainly a possible issue . . . hope you emphasised the positives of this

    And also hope that you made it clear that you are up to speed with all this!

    It sounds as though you are generally understanding, @sforte, what are the underpinnings of a good application. But I do think that you may need to consider how you are presenting (a) supply and (b) international experience. If you need some more help in how to present these, you might want to try THIS. It includes sections on applying when on supply, on applying with an international school background, and as well as general advice, of course.

    Don't give up hope - there will be a little spate of ads this week, after the May 31 deadline for resignations. And a further tip - once you have sent in the next application, start your interview preparation immediately. People are being called for interview at very short notice ...

    Best of luck!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  15. TheOneTonBun

    TheOneTonBun New commenter

    Career changer here; mid 40s. My NQT year this year was only a 1 year mat cover contract. I am sitting here trying to get some motivation to fill in my 14th application for an RQT role. I feel like giving up now. It's incredibly disheartening.

    One of my friends, in a similar position, has applied for well over 30 jobs now and he's not had a single interview. I am trying very hard not to believe it's our age counting against us, but when you see all the bright young things getting interviews left right and centre, it's hard to stay positive.
    Mad max likes this.
  16. Mad max

    Mad max New commenter

    Indeed. it's such a shame and completely wrong. Again 45 year old exactly in the same boat. I've had 5 interviews this year and each time went to the NQT. However liked I said I try not to give up hope. I have been in this game nearly 20 years and I can say this. Most of my experience especially in mainstream but also in SEN is where they have hired the NQT or RQT (in schools rated inadequate or requires improvement with special measures) and they have left either because they were not supported enough to reach standards or left of there own accord. I have then come in and stayed and kept on for 1 year/ 4 terms on supply hiking up the price for my trouble as I would not get paid for 6 weeks holiday so need reserves as well as working in a factory to keep me going. There was 1 place where the person left and I stayed in that 1 educational organisation nearly 4 years. Do not give up hope. I am afraid as many have pointed out here cost and age does play a huge factor as well as other forms of discrimination all far to often but have found long term places. May be worth keeping an eye out for jobs out of educational setting to tie you over. Also do not dismiss agency contracts with a school (although i always negotiate a fair 2 week/3 week notice period) as I have been offered permanent on the back of this
  17. Yoshicake

    Yoshicake New commenter

    To be honest, I am sick of every job in my area wanting an nqt regardless of age.
    I am also sick of being replaced by an nqt when I work hard on temp contract. It's not my fault I am top of the main scale.

    I am certainly not young but I am not old either (mid 30s) and I didn't get an interview at all earlier in lock down now there are no jobs in my city. The few that have advertised have been asking for nqts.

    I'm only 8 years into my career and feel like I'll never have job security again.
    musobob and Mad max like this.
  18. Mad max

    Mad max New commenter

    Hi Yoshicake. I feel so bad this is happening to you as it is a lot of us. I too feel sick of it, but I can't lose hope or it will really pull me down. Perhaps being science and maths does help, but indeed all these false advertisements and articles about being in shortage is just not true. I too fear I will never have job security again after 20 years. If you don't get a job at you young age, what chance is there for me just being over 10 years older. I do hope you do get a job as I do to the one ton bun. You deserve to be recognised. I get it. I too am fed up of going to schools where the past few teachers gave up after a week or had been asked to leave and put up with the severe abuse and "deal with things" while still getting learning done for fear too I might be gone.
  19. musobob

    musobob New commenter

    I am sorry that this has happen. Please rest assured that you are not alone in this situation. I, as I am sure many others, am in exactly the same position. Your career is effectively over and you have done nothing wrong, apart from be a teacher in the Gove-ian era of education (e.g. mass academisation, EBACC, progress 8, scrapping of pay portability, performance related pay, etc etc). To add insult to injury, all your peers in the corporate world are getting married, having kids, and buying houses, while you are just trying to get some stability and progress in your mid-30s.

    My beliefs in hell are complicated, but I know who should go there.

    Good luck.
  20. TheOneTonBun

    TheOneTonBun New commenter

    Well, that application has actually landed me an interview, so at lease one school is willing to interview older candidates.

    Wish me luck everyone (because there is sweet FA else I have to apply for now).
    becky70 likes this.

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