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Thoughts on OTT working as a TA

Discussion in 'Overseas trained teachers' started by silverfern, May 28, 2011.

  1. silverfern

    silverfern New commenter

    If you don't have any luck applying directly to schools, you could try working through an agency (eg. day supply/relief or medium-/long-term temporary positions). Once a school gets to know you, they might be more likely to take you on permanently/help put you through QTS for OTT (which must be done within four years of first teaching in the UK if you want to continue teaching there). Along the same lines, if a school employs you as a TA, then they might later be able to offer you a teaching job (not sure whether your work as a TA would count towards your four-year limit for QTS).
    If you do get employed directly by a school, you'll be paid on the 'unqualified' teacher scale, which I think is not much more than a Teaching Assistant. You could try independent/private schools - they can pay you what they like - but depending on how long you plan to stay in the UK, might not put you through QTS for OTT, which requires some state-school teaching.
    Good luck!
  2. Have been with an agency since September 2009 (first work from them October that year) and have never had any placements longer than a 2 week one to cover paternity leave. All I get is day to day work, and not even much of that this year at all.I have been saying all along I want to be put forward for longer term placements, but have never heard any mention of any for me, yet see people around me getting them through the same agency, in schools I regularly go to. Rather frustrating!
    I know all about the OTTP, which is why I am trying so hard to get a full time position now - have until October 2013 to get QTS and I don't want to be leaving it until the last minute. I know about the pay scale too, and am quite happy to be paid on the unqualified teacher scale, as officially that is what I am!
  3. silverfern

    silverfern New commenter

    How annoying! Can you send out your CV to all the schools you've worked in, or does your agency have a clause which stops this? Would it be worth contacting some different agencies and asking them whether they often get long-term placements, and if so, change agencies? Could you drop your CV in person into some local schools?
    I really hope you find something for Sept.
  4. I would say perhaps try joining up with another agency or two to see if they can offer you more long-term positions for September. If you get in with a school on a long term position, you may have to stay on the agency for a while (from what I understand, there are clauses in most agency contracts that require a school to pay a heavy "finders fee" if they want to employ a teacher directly that originated from an agency position).
    However, New Zealand is one of the countries that is included in the new government initiative to loosen restrictions on overseas teachers. As of early 2012, NZ qualifications will be considered equivalent to UK ones. You may find that may make a difference in responses you get from schools themselves, if they know you won't be needing to be supported in gaining QTS.

    Good luck!
  5. silverfern

    silverfern New commenter

    Could you drop a line in your covering letter, saying something along the lines that you are a NZ-qualified teacher, which the UK government has (is about to?) declared employable by UK schools, with no extra QTS requirement?
  6. That sounds like a very good idea silverfern! I may try that with my next few applications.
  7. I would recommend you join an agency that look for long term cover. That way you get some experience in long term classrooms which will look good on your CV rather than daily supply. I used Academics (but not sure where you are located). Finding work as an OTT is difficult and the OTTP is a pain in the butt! You don't worry yourself about finder fees etc when dealing with agencies. They only apply if the school want to take you on permanently. Schools often use the agencies for long term supply. Furthermore the fees to go on the OTTP is only £500 which the school pays for and it doesn't break the bank!

    Good luck with finding work.

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