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NQT - Do I stand a chance?

Discussion in 'Independent' started by Chumbled, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Chumbled

    Chumbled New commenter

    Hi there,

    I'm currently doing my ITT year in an independent school and loving it. I know no two schools are the same, but because of the great experience I've had, I'd really want to try get a job in the independent sector for next year.

    I'm just wondering if, as an NQT, schools would even look at my application? I've already applied for a few which say they're equally happy to consider NQTs, but are they actually? So far this year, I've got involved where I can with extra-curricular activities, and pastoral care is something I'm interested in and really want to get more experience in it, but there's quite a few barriers to that whilst I'm still training. I feel like I'm trying my best to get this all across in my application, but I know that a few months experience and saying things that I'd like to do, don't have much on years of solid experience.

    I know jobs at independent schools are extremely competitive in any case, but I keep telling myself that I'll miss all the shots I don't take, so I want to go for it, but after not hearing back from anyone so far, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm maybe wasting my time, and should get a few years in a state school under my belt first?

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    We've hired NQTs, and we've hired highly experienced staff too. You just need to be the right fit for the job - and better than the competition on the day.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If you aren't hearing back at all, then it could be there is something wrong with the application. Get the head at your school to look over them with you, compare to the person spec and see what else you could have done.

    If schools say NQTs are welcome to apply, then they definitely will be.
    phlogiston and asnac like this.
  4. citruspers

    citruspers New commenter

    In my experience independent schools will hire NQTs, but generally they will have a top notch undergraduate degree.
  5. Boardingmaster

    Boardingmaster New commenter

    I got my first job in an independent school as an NQT, and as someone who has been on the hiring end, I have always been happy to hire NQTs who are good enough. Go for it, it’s genuinely not as competitive as people often think, even at the more prestigious schools.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I have appointed NQTs. I have in fact often appointed them, had a member of SLT specifically in charge of ensuring their welfare, as well as a departmental mentor of course.

    One year we had an unexpected English vacancy, in August. I advertised and then interviewed in GCSE results week. It was an unemployed NQT, worried because everyone else on her course had got jobs months before. I can never now understand why she hadn't been snapped up elsewhere, but she was one of my best appointments ever.

    Just make sure that your application is a strong one, presenting your strengths and showing how you will address the school's needs. http://bit.do/Clickk

    Best of luck!

  7. MathMan1

    MathMan1 New commenter

    Chumbled, your post reminds me of an article I was reading about the percentage of students attending Stamford, MIT & other highly competitive US universities who when polled, admitted to imposter syndrome. ie they felt they were the one that had slipped through the net & were going to be ejected by security sometime next week.

    You're probably a lot stronger a candidate than you give yourself credit for (and the fact you may be demurring on this reinforces this too) so bang in an application and learn from the process.

    (Quite probably other NQTs are also thinking "they won't want me" & that simply whittles down the list of candidates in your favour!)

    I do agree with your comment that no two independent schools are the same (as the case with state too), so check out their website, prospectus, etc but if you can come over as a good 'fit' in your interview you've got a strong chance of being accepted.

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