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Need to find a new job, quickly! Are speculative letters appropriate in this case?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by PhysBee, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. PhysBee

    PhysBee New commenter

    I've recently found out that, due to my partner's military career, we are having to move in September to a new, permanent base. I've also had the realisation that this now gives me 2.5 weeks before my notice is due and I need to find a job! (I'm very worried about handing it in, without anything even potentially lined up and then having to take the first job that comes along out of desperation and panic).

    The area we are moving to is a bit remote, but there are a handful of jobs available. The problem is, I would either need to take a substantial pay cut as we're moving away from London (which will cause issues with our mortgage) or move to a school that I'm not too keen on. I really don't want to move to a school just to fill time until a better position becomes available unless I absolutely have to.

    I've read Theo's Article:
    but I'm still unsure.

    So, my question(s) is: are speculative letters to other schools worth it/likely to get a response? Are they appropriate in some situations? I'm very lucky because I'm a female physics teacher... so I'm hoping someone will want to stock pile me as there is a shortage or am I living in a dream world? Will I just be wasting my time and should apply for one of the other jobs, even if it means I might leave within a year?
  2. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I don't know what area you're looking at and I can't make your decision for you.

    But if it helps, I am also a physics teacher who, after signing up to some agencies last year, was spoilt for choice with long term positions. Also, despite regularly checking TES, the jobs I was offered by the agencies were jobs I'd never seen advertised on TES. And the biggest surprise was that the daily rate offered for the physics posts was 1/195 of the top of scale salary - I'd expected less because of the agency cut.

    By all means try the speculative letters but if you don't get any interest from the schools you fancy, don't panic. there is work out there.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Where are you?

    In England and Wales the date for most schools was 29 February to leave at Easter, and 31 May for the summer. Some Indy schools may require notice on or before the first day of term - surely that's not in 2.5 weeks' time?

    Check your contract about this.

    Your gender is neither here nor there, so please make no mention of it as an advantage in any application nor in interview. A school would in fact be acting illegally if it took this into consideration when making an appointment.

    But the Physics is certainly good!

    Hmn - with belts tightened, schools are going to be unlikely to take on an extra teacher, just in case . . .

    I shouldn't despair, as a remote area outside London is likely to need a smaller mortgage - that's part of the reason of having London weightings, that you need more money.

    Yes, they might be, if you need to resign fast. But all you could hope for is that they would tell you that there is likely to be a job coming up soon. Although legally a school appoint you without advertising, they are not likely to do so, as it would not be considered a fair applications procedure and could cause a great deal of ill feeling within the school.

    I assume that you have seen these?

    Get the TES Jobs App

    How to set up a Job Alert

    Get ready for the application season!

    But first check that resignation date

    Best wishes

  4. PhysBee

    PhysBee New commenter

    Thanks for the advice, I hadn't considered agency work. This makes me feel a lot better about my options.
  5. PhysBee

    PhysBee New commenter

    Thanks for the advice Theo, it's helped a lot.

    I know, unfortunately it is hidden in my contract that I need to give a full terms notice and resign at the end of the previous term (Independent school). I had naively assumed I would have longer, like in my previous schools.

    This is what I'm most worried about, that sending a letter seems presumptuous and also, as I would assume the school would advertise, they might do it in an odd way. I've known schools to hide adverts away on their website rather than post on TES or similar so they only get the one applicant. I don't want to start a position under dodgy circumstances.

    On a side note, perhaps for another forum, this is an interesting discussion. I would like to think that I've always been offered my jobs based on merit. However, at every interview I have ever been to, the fact that I am female has always been mentioned by the school. Usually during the informal tour of the school or something, but sometimes during the formal interview... I wonder now whether they are even allowed to comment on this at all.

    Thanks Theo!
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I have NEVER EVER seen that!

    And you could challenge it - that makes how many months' notice - unreasonable.

    If course they are not!

    But the informal bit where you are shown round is probably done by untrained staff - untrained in legal niceties, i mean!

    Good luck


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