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Jobs advertising - should they stop "internal only" ads?

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by amysdad, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    So we've had another report about the problems NQTs have in getting a full time job.
    To me, though, the current practice of advertising any teaching jobs as "internal only" would seem to be exacerbating this. OK, authorities have a duty to find roles for teachers displaced from their current school, and inevitably these would take priority. But where roles can't be filled from this, most LAs are still restricting jobs to "internal applicants only."
    That means that, once you've finished probation and not employed, it becomes more difficult to find a post if you can't apply for them. Equally, if you're a teacher living in, say, Glasgow and teaching in Renfrewshire, you couldn't apply for a job in Glasgow itself.
    This doesn't seem to me to work either for teachers or employers. Unemployed teachers can't apply for jobs which can't be filled by transfer, employed teachers can't apply for jobs in a different authority, and employers can't be sure that they've actually got the best possible teachers because they're not benchmarking against who's available elsewhere.
    Why is this being preserved? Who gets the benefit from this?
  2. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    The SMT reading the applications and having to make short leet decisions surely benefit from a smaller amount of applicants. Is it simply a time saving (school staff) and cost cutting (less processing work to do in HR/Recruitment) exercise?
  3. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Yes, but wouldn't you want to have more applications initially in order to make sure you've got the best? What's the point in going back to the same pool of applicants a second time, when you could just go to a larger one first?
    Suspect it's more to do with this. HR seem to think it saves money, but it's not like in the private sector - or even in the public sector - where the saving comes from not having to pay recruitment consultants or advertising fees. You've got a restricted pool (in the sense that you have to be GTCS registered) anyway, and if you can restrict advertising to the myScotland website and the council website your advertising costs are virtually nil.
  4. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    That's not very restrictive just now, though is it? Hundreds of applicants for one post has been the norm for a fair few years.
    I'd love to know exactly what happens to an application when it is retrieved from, lets say, myjobbiescotland. Is it printed out by them? Is it then photocopied and sent to the school or simply emailed to the school? Does the school then bear the burden of producing hard copies for all SMT involved in the short-leeting process? Do HR log basic details about applicants? What about the Equal Opportunies forms? HT reports? etc etc. I see filing cabinets a plenty and many, many overworked filers. I really don't know how complicated or bureaucratic the process is.
  5. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    "Yes, but wouldn't you want to have more applications initially in order to make sure you've got the best? "

    There is no such thing as a "best" applicant anyway. That is just down to a matter of opinion. No one really knows that any appointee is going to be any good until they are actually doing the job. There are plenty cases that I could cite, as well as many others, of people who interviewed well and then turned out to be useless at the job or even a nightmare as an employee. Interviewers can be easily fooled. People exaggerate on application forms etc. etc.
  6. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I imagine there may also be a tokenistic gesture towards the idea of loyalty; loyalty towards existing emplyees of the LA. At the very least they are embedding the code, the wish to be recognised/perceived as such by existing emplyees.
    "Oh look, they really are on side after all. We look after them and they look after us!" kind of thing.
  7. ryeland

    ryeland New commenter

    HT reports are a nightmare - fine if you are moving job, but for us on the outside...... I am using quite old ones now.
  8. Agreed. More and more schools are now also requesting that the Head Teacher's report be signed upon arrival at the school. This can often be extremely difficult if you are on supply, and can't just mosey on down to the HT's office at some point during the week to have it signed.
  9. ukred

    ukred New commenter

    Anyone wishing to employ someone who is working in a job and doing well should be able to do just that. It helps NO ONE to advertise a job that has already been 'earmarked' for someone else. I have lost expensive days on supply to be used as 'interview fodder' for schools who have obviously already made a choice.
  10. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    Yes, but if that happened, how could a council claim to be 'an equal opportunities employer' complying with all the relevant legislation in their recruitment practices?
    Whilst I'm sure there are schools that apply completely open, and fair, recruitment practices, it is not that unusual for a 'known' candidate to be appointed.
    As you say, it is incredibly frustrating for any applicant to feel, rightly or wrongly, that they are simply there to make up the numbers on an interview leet but I'm not sure how that situation can be changed to make interviews, and appointments, more transparent.
    Anyone got any suggestions?
  11. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    For a kick off I do not think Probationers should be allowed to stay on at their school. That would at least make it a bit fairer and also they would gain valuable experience in different departments and schools rather than being in just the one culture.
  12. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Fred, I know you don't advocate SUS as good practice - that's another argument, but surely if the Probationer has done a good job, worked well with pupils and staff, possibly put down roots and WANTS to stay in the post, that is a damn good reason to allow them to stay on?
    I think we all know colleagues who have stayed in the same post for too many years, become stale beyond recognition and counter-productive to pupils and school alike - the comfort zone is so strong! Maybe the answer is to have a maximum amount of time in any one post/school? How long - is 5 years too short?
    One more thing - when teachers retire, take away their GTCS reg. Nothing annoys me more than the hangers-on who work for pocket-money. If they need the money - don't retire. Or write a book, dig someone's garden, walk dogs if they want pocket-money but leave the jobs for the really needy teachers who need the experience and the money more.
    Sorry to go so off topic, rant over for this hour!
  13. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    'Cos that's happening lots all over the place, isn't it....[​IMG]
    I think there is a point made in the other posts that perhaps heads of department actually like to "play it safe" with what they've got. That's a bad move though - how do you know you've got the best, rather than just good enough?
  14. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    Yes I do believe it is very common. I know what people are saying about putting down roots etc, but what a phenomenal waste of time it is for people having to go through the ordeal of application and interview when there is zero chance of being successful due to a 'done deal'. Therefore if the sitting tennant was not allowed to apply by default then we would have a fairer process, because perhaps then it would really come down to report and interview. That is all I am saying. I just feel sorry for people who are doing a great job but due to the lottery of the probationer placement system are on the scrapheap through no fault of their own. I think it would be a good idea to have new teachers move to different schools. In fact there is an argument that we ALL move after a certain amount of time. I would also like to see less local authorities as a small nation of 5 million doesn't really need 32 councils does it?
  15. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    I don't like the SUS route at all. But also just because someone WANTS to stay on doesn't mean they SHOULD. If the probationers came into their probation year knowing they can't stay on then you would find out what they are made of. We all know about the one session wonders who work their socks off for a job in their school and when they get it they retire into the ether.
  16. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Freddie, I actually agree with much of what you say, but there's two sides to this.
    I doubt there'll be any probationer starting their probation year in August of this year (or indeed next) expecting that they'll be able to stay on at the same school or even the same local authority.
    I also don't think you can forcibly move someone from school to school after a few years, even within the same authority. Even in the private sector there are people who do exactly the same job for 20+ years. The problem comes when they're not doing the job properly or well enough - in the private sector you're supported for a period to try to get you back on track before you're sacked, whereas it seems to the outsider that in teaching it's practically impossible to sack a teacher for incompetence. As long as a teacher is still doing the job well and pupils are progressing, then they should be able to stay where they are.
  17. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    I worked in industry for 5 years before I went into teaching so I am well aware of how the private sector works. Though it is not always as 'hard working' as people think. I worked in a different department but in our factory there were plenty of skivers who would do all sorts of imaginative things to avoid work. And as for the nightshift... well. Also as you will know, nowdays it is becoming harder and harder for even the private sector to dismiss staff without fear of unfair dismissal.
  18. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    Again I am unsure about this as there have been quite a few kept on in our authority and neighbouring ones. I would argue that with the whole Internal Applicants Only situation it would actually increase the chances of staying on?

    The whole system is flawed. Teaching, sadly, is not a meritocracy, but then again few walks of life are.
  19. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    The major problem with internals only then is that if you are in a small authority like for example Clackmannanshire then you are screwed as there are only 3 or 4 secondary schools in that authority. You have probably wasted your 2 years training (if secondary and if doing the postgrad).

    Also personnel are employed for a reason. They could filter out the applications - which could then prevent accusations of bias. After all the applications should be picked for the ones best matching the person spec and job description, but in most cases won't be. It will be if they know someone or have had a good report from another Head. That's what happens in many large private organisations. The MD doesn't sit and read EVERY CV or application form. His HR department do that!
  20. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Spot on Freddie!
    Very true - but this would still be the case if you were able to apply to schools outwith your authority area. In fact, it would actually improve on it because you'd meet more HTs and get the chance to apply to schools with different backgrounds, eg someone moving from an urban secondary in Edinburgh to a rural one in Fife.

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