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No longer employable?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Hollyhocks44, Jul 15, 2020.

  1. Hollyhocks44

    Hollyhocks44 New commenter

    I hope you can advise?

    I have been supply teaching for the last three years after accepting a settlement agreement and agreed reference from my last school. My hours were cut due to a lowered uptake in my subject, and I was no longer needed and bullied out.

    Since then I have been supply teaching and applying for permanent teaching roles. I have a strong CV and perform well in interviews. I have also used the last three years to gain a masters degree. I frequently get shortlisted for jobs and have even been pursued by schools to apply for positions. However, I have now been for eight interviews and despite hearing feedback such as "you were a strong candidate", I never get the position. I am 46 years old and a single parent. In the past I have needed to take additional time off work to care for my children when they are sick, but not too much (however, my sickness time off will be higher due to this). I have predominantly taught in private schools and was frequently advised not to disclose that I was taking time off to care for my sick children (as it wasn't allowed), but to instead pretend it was me that was ill. My children are older now, but I'm worried that this, along with the fact that I'm older and more expensive means that I'll always lose out when it comes to getting the job.

    I know that I am a good teacher, but I'm afraid that something is stopping schools from hiring me. I am now at the point where I am seriously thinking about leaving teaching altogether - which seems like a waste of time and money gaining a master's.

    Is there any advice you can give me? I have had interviewers tell me that I'm the strongest candidate only for them to go radio silent after the interview and then fail to offer me the job. The reasons I am being given make no sense. They say that I "don't have enough experience", when I know that the other candidates are both Nqts. Or, that I didn't talk enough about 'cultural capital', through to "you didn't seem compassionate when we spoke about pupil premium students". My children are pupil premium so I do understand their plight!

    One interviewer told me that I didn't need to teach a lesson as part of the interview, only to then 'spring it on me' when I had arrived unprepared. Then the feedback I was given was that my lesson observation was "nothing special".

    My point is that if feedback is never truthful due to the school being worried about the employment law and discrimination etc, how will I ever know what it is that's holding me back? Instead I'm left guessing what it might be.

    I am facing leaving a career I have put my heart and soul into.

    Any advice would be appreciated. I can't move away so that's not an option.
  2. Hollyhocks44

    Hollyhocks44 New commenter

    I forgot to mention that one school called me the night before the interview to ask me how old my children are and which school they go to and "how did I think I was going to manage the school run and getting to work on time"? I don't know why I attended that interview. And at the last interview I was asked twice what years my children were in. I think I may have answered my own question! I think the gender pay gap has gone down eight places in the UK over the past ten years, I can see why.
  3. Mad max

    Mad max New commenter

    Hi Hollyhocks
    Sorry to hear this. I don't have kids, but I am the same age and have had the same experiences. I have said this before but teaching is the most racist, sexist and agist pofession I have ever seen. If only you could get HR to allow you to compare notes of all candidates and have a 100% transparent recrutiment process. Like I said the government needs to take back control and weed out shameful despicable management
  4. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I don't think 8 interviews is enough to give up after, tbh.
    Pomza likes this.
  5. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    I think it's harder to get a job when you're older. I had to get back in via supply last time I was out of work.
    I don't know much about the private sector but some of the schools you are applying to sound rather dubious re: attitude to your own children. You're better off not working at those places!
    I've never really set much store by feedback when unsuccessful.
    If you love teaching then I'd keep going with supply and keep applying for posts.
  6. geraldbeattie

    geraldbeattie New commenter

    Try not to get too disheartened. Take a good hard look at the roles you have applied for and interviewed for. Be merciless in looking at the possibly not quite so obvious reasons why they have not appointed. To a certain extent from what you have said you may have had a lucky escape from some of them as employers. "How will you manage the school run for your own children?" The same way as hundreds of thousands of others do. Honestly!
    Look in a different light on similar but different positions. Best of luck and as someone has already commented."I don't think 8 interviews is enough to give up after, tbh."
    Hollyhocks44 likes this.
  7. Hollyhocks44

    Hollyhocks44 New commenter

  8. Hollyhocks44

    Hollyhocks44 New commenter

    Thank you, Mad Max, I understand your frustration. I suppose it's important not to get disheartened. I am considering all options now - including possibly self-employment. Take care :)
  9. Hollyhocks44

    Hollyhocks44 New commenter

    Thank you for your kind words and excellent feedback everyone. Teachers are the best people! One of the reasons I don't want to leave the profession. However, I feel like I am clinging to a golden era of old school teaching and teachers that no longer exist (in the majority). I will spend the summer thinking about what I really want going forward. Have a good summer break all!
  10. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Remember, things always go in circles. We just have to wait for the wheel to turn again. Also, ask someone qualified whether they should be asking you about your sickness-are they allowed to these days?

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