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Visiting a school before applying for a position

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Emmacl, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Hi

    I've seen a position which I am interested in applying for. I'd really like to visit the school before handing in an application however to ensure it is the right school for me. Is this common practice? Anyone got any advice?

  2. Quite common, indeed most schools welcome potential applicants to visit the school with appointment, or a special day/time may be set aside.
    First thing to remember is that even if it's informal, treat it as the first part of your selection process and be on your guard, so that your body language, comments, dress etc don't give the wrong impression to the school. Also it's a two-way process: if the school doesn't seem right for you, you save yourself the bother of applying.
    Some tips. Ask questions for which you can't find answers on official sources like school website, prospectus, Ofsted and job advert, like support for induction. Get a feel for the place - does it seem friendly, do children look happy and motivated, are teachers keen and professional? Does the ethos of the school, esp if it's a church school, agree with you? Can you see yourself working there and be happy? Don't get into school politics and offer unguarded opinions on current education policy, government initiatives etc. Sound keen and enthusiastic. Dress as a teacher, at least a jacket and tie for men and smart outfit for women.
  3. Thanks for the advice, it's very helpful :)
  4. I went on my first school visit on Friday, I was shocked that it turned into a sort of mini interview! The head showed me around after sitting me in his office and asking me about myself, why I want the post, why the school would be suitable for me etc. I was caught off guard a little bit as I expected to be shown around by a secretary/children. Be prepared to answer questions like that.
  5. I would definately go on a visit before applying for a school. It gives you an insite into the school that looking at their website doesn't. When I visited the school I am working now I knew immediately that it was where I wanted to work. I think that this helped me to get the post because I worked extra hard on my written application and the head has since said that a positive from my interview was my enthusiasm for the school. I would not have done this had I not looked around the school first.
    I visited 4 school while I was applying for jobs last year and each one was very different. In one school I was shown around by the head with 20 other NQTs but in another school 2 children showed me around and then I had a 45 minute individual talk with the head about how the school runs and what I want out of my NQT year, so be really do be prepared from anything!

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