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What's going wrong with applying jobs in teaching

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by sonicthehedgehog, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Hi all

    Just wondered if anyone else is experiencing discrimination when applying for jobs. Every job I have applied for recently (when I 've got past the letter stage) has been given to an NQT.

    I do supply because frankly I had to resign due to unfair treatment by a school / authority.

    I've also recently applied for jobs and been told that they had 150 applications from brick layers etc and then found out from someone else they didn't appoint at all.

    I've attended interviews where an internal candidate is present and they get the job, the rest of us, after being invited for interview, are told we can't have one.

    I got some interview feedback after 10 or more phone calls chasing someone from SLT who is constantly 'in a meeting' that I did'nt get the job because I did'nt put name badges on the kids. Then found out the successful candidate was related to a previous deputy head of the school.

    Surely if you meet the person spec you have a right to an interview. Am I right with this?

    This is all wrong. Please could someone convince me that a) anyone cares and b) something is being done about it.

    I'm sorry to say that I'm fed up of unfair and disgusting treatment.

    Any thoughts?
















     
  2. hazcard

    hazcard New commenter

    Hello sonic,

    School budgets are really tight at the moment and NQTs are just less expensive. If the school has invited you to interview (assuming that you are more expensive) then they are looking for something special from you, basically are you worth the extra money?

    I don't think anyone has a "right" to an interview (I wish that were the case because I would have been invited to loads by now). If you are getting interviews then perhaps you need to evaluate carefully what you are doing on the day that doesn't get you the job. If you're not getting many interviews then please go and look at Theo's blogs as the information in these are invaluable. For example, always spend some time writing an executive summary it has guaranteed me 3 interviews from 4 applications! not a bad rate.

    Before you suggest that this is all easy for me to say I do need to point out that I don't have a job for September either but I remain hopeful.
     
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    i suspect you haven't been long out of permanent employment.

    The situation has changed drastically over the past few years. there are loads of us posting here and on Unemployed/Supply who have experienced the BIG problem of trying to secure employment.

    You say
    but what happens if they have 50+ very suitable candidates? (Apparently in some areas the applicant are in the hundreds!) They can't possibly interview everybody and yes some really good candidates will not achieve an interview.

    After my family I tried for about 8 years before I even got that first interview! I know my area is one where people stay in post virtually till they retire and so few potential posts for which one could apply, but I could wallpaper a wall with the rejction letters. About 7-8 years ago they actually had so many people they didn't even bother sending out rejection letters. It was a standard if yoy haven't heard by xxxx assume you've not been shortlisted.

    It is really tough out there!
     
  4. bigbev

    bigbev New commenter

    I am an older experienced teacher - I left a good job/good school for promotion but it was a disaster (unions involved etc) - it has taken me nearly 2 years to get back a full time perm job

    As Lara says above it is really tough...and some!...I was ready to give up but 'the last job' was the one!
     
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    No, you're wrong. The school is not even obliged to advertise the post if they know a candidate they believe is good enough.

    You experience has upset you and made you cynical about how schools recruit - but (and Theo will back me on this) there is not a single headteacher in the country who doesn't want to recruit what they believe are the very best teachers. That you feel the processes you've been involved in have not been fair to you isn't - I'm afraid - proof that 'unfair' recruitment practices are going on. And even if they are, so long as the head sincerely believes s/he has chosen what she sees as the "best" candidate, there is no issue.

    I'm not sure what you think could be "done about it". Heads, like leaders of all organisations, are held accountable if their school does not perform well enough and most of those such heads are swiftly - and quite brutally - removed from their posts if data and inspection deems them to be at fault.
     
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Hullo Sonic - nice avatar!

    You are not the only person asking these questions about fairness or perceived lack of fairness in job applications. Only yesterday there was a thread started on Workplace dilemmas:

    <h4 class="post-name">Bias and Pre-Planned Teacher Job Interviews</h4>
    You might like to read it.

    However, I'll give you here exactly what I said there:

    There are a lot of disappointed people when jobs are advertised, shortlisting is done, and interviews take place.

    Disappointed people can be upset, hurt, even angry.

    I will make just three comments.

    1. Internals sometimes get the job.

    Internals sometimes do not. And they too get disappointed, upset, hurt and angry when they don't.

    2. Schools are subject to very rigorous Inspections. Headteachers are subject to very rigorous pressures, vicious on occasion, to get and keep their schools up to the mark.

    In such circumstances, no Headteacher is going to risk appointing a second-best candidate just because s/he is internal. They will go for the one who shows her/himself to be the absolute best person to raise and maintain standards in their school.

    3. It is up to you to show, in your application, in your interview, and in your teaching, that you are the very best person to raise and maintain standards in that particular school.

    A lesson that might be Outstanding in the context of one school might be lacking in pace in another where students are at different stages of their academic development. It lies with you to get it right.

    There you have it.

    If you want more from me, you can get it by going to the top of the page in JobSeekers and clicking on Blogs. Blogs on applying for a job, on preparing for interview, on accepting a job, on starting a new job, and more.

    That's what I said yesterday, and I say it again today.

    Best wishes

    ___________________________________________________

    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, or in person at one of the TES Careers Advice Service seminars or individual consultations
     
  7. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    I've also recently applied for jobs and been told that they had 150 applications from brick layers etc and then found out from someone else they didn't appoint at all.

    It happens. They judged that no applicant fitted their needs. I've done this, it's disheartening to both sides. But better not to appoint than to hire the wrong person.

    I've attended interviews where an internal candidate is present and they get the job, the rest of us, after being invited for interview, are told we can't have one.

    It happens. The internal candidate was the best fit for the job. But they wouldn't have bothered to interview others unless they thought there might be someone better from outside. I've seen both things happen, including one where the external candidate couldn't take up the post for a term, so the failed internal candidate was asked to take it on temporarily. I've seen an internal candidate rejected for the same post on two separate occasions.



    I got some interview feedback after 10 or more phone calls chasing someone from SLT who is constantly 'in a meeting' that I didn't get the job because I didn't put name badges on the kids. Then found out the successful candidate was related to a previous deputy head of the school.

    You have no special right to interview feedback. Once the school has appointed, they owe you no duty to support your career progression or your job hunt. In most industries there is no feedback at all. In giving feedback the school has to be cautious that they do not trigger a tribunal claim, and generally they are quite sensibly defensive; a few will tell "white lies" to each candidate, saying they weren't quite as good as the one who was appointed. In the end the Head and others have to choose the candidate they think will be best for their school, and this is inevitably part objective and part subjective. You may be interested in the research Google has done in its own hiring process, which shows that none of their interviewers - with just one exception - seems to be significantly better than others at selecting the right personnel.

    And the candidate may be related - that does not mean they are barred from applying or from being appointed. It just means that the deputy involved must have no input to the selection process - and as the deputy concerned had left the school, the only possibility of unfairness is that the deputy concerned canvassed the appointments panel, and this is usually expressly forbidden in application packs, as well as forbidden in policy and procedure.

    Surely if you meet the person spec you have a right to an interview. Am I right with this?

    No. The person spec is just one layer of filtering. In my experience we looked at all applications including ones which didn't meet the spec: sometimes an applicant is just the person you need for other things in the school and you may end up shifting responsibilities and subjects around to match. But if there are 20 or 30 applicants who match the spec, they won't all get an interview. Not a hope. Impractical. Sadly you end up rejecting candidates who could do the job well, in favour of candidates you believe would do the job excellently.

    There is a further possible twist of fate here too. The vacancy appears; the job spec etc needs writing; then the ad appears; there is a delay while applicants respond, then a delay for shortlisting before the interviews. In that time a lot can change in a school - other staff leaving or changing responsibilities or whatever. So by the time of the interviews the goalposts may just have moved a bit and of course the school will respond to that.

    And there is no issue of rights here. You are trying to sell a product - your skills and expertise - to a customer. When Tesco try to sell you washing powder, they have no right to having you look at their product range, and no right to have you buy it.



    This is all wrong. Please could someone convince me that a) anyone cares and b) something is being done about it.

    I'm sorry - it's not wrong. The schools care desperately about getting the best staff. Most Heads will tell you that this is one of the most important things they do. At present most schools are in a buyers' market with more and more people chasing the vacancies. Some of those people will be excellent, and the Heads endeavour to recruit the people who will be excellent in their schools.
     
  8. Hi all and thanks for the answers, thoughts and opinions.

    Kids won't be treated badly, well hang on we're all entitled to respect and decent treatment regardless of age or career choice. I tell you what if I was a headteacher I'd spend less on pointless rubbish staff training and more on employing experienced commtitted staff. Most NQT's don't stay in jobs for long anyway. Off topic I know, but I won't be playing jumped up party games after school so boxes can be ticked to say that staff are 'trained'. I'm stressed just typing it!!

    IT IS WRONG to treat people badly, IT'S NOT WRONG to get the right staff - so fair play ye headteachers!

    I guess I do sound cynical and negative but none of what I say is untrue. The only reason why I question 'bad' practice by employers (or rather schools, let's be straight) is because I know folks in other professions/jobs that can't believe this sort of thing happens.

    The answer I suppose is, if you can't stand the heat........

    Like others have said though, not all schools are the same. I could work full time in some schools I go to on supply and definitely not in others and it ain't the kids that put me off in any of them (or the dinners).

    Hard times indeed. Thanks again.
     
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter



    Great post, Skeoch! [​IMG]

    Best wishes

    ___________________________________________________

    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, or in person at one of the TES Careers Advice Service seminars or individual consultations
     
  10. I need to point out that I'm interested in a fair carry on and honesty.

    If I apply for a job and I get an interview and I don't get the job I want to know the reason why, the real reason and not be taken for an idiot. Something like; 'look mate, you're too expensive'. Now that would be wrong, and it's discrimination on the grounds of pay, is it not? And that's why they are dishonest at times and say something else as the reason.

    Are folks in high places allowed to discriminate on other grounds like race and gender because they have a hard job to do and they are answerable to someone else?

    I think not.
     
  11. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    They are not discriminating. Did you actually read what Theo, Skeoch, and Middlemarch have posted?

    Schools recruit the BEST candidate for the job - on the day. Sometimes an internal, sometimes an external.

    As for discrimination - If someone told you, to your face, that you didn't get the job because you are too old/expensive/a woman - would you accept it gracefully? Or would you react?

    Also, you state in your original post that you are on supply having left a permanent post due to "unfair" treatment. That is possibly why you are not being terribly successful. It does look odd leaving a perm post for supply work. Especially if you are not being forthcoming on the reasons why.

    There are people on here who are experienced in recruitment who are trying to help you. I suggest you listen to them.

    Oh, and your comment about how if you were a Head you'd spend money on hiring "committed experience staff" sticks in the craw. And your rather rude dismissal of NQTs. Who is stating they would practise discrimination now?
     
  12. What have I possibly got to lose or gain from being (in your words CWadd) 'rude' on an internet forum? What does 'stick in the craw mean' anyway?

    I've been an NQT also. Recently I have expereinced things that are not right when applying for jobs and attending interviews.

    I would personally accept an honest explanation for not being successful in applying for a job.

    I have experienced discrimination and shoddy practice. Whatever else anyone wants to add, how is that going to change it?

    So why post something like this? To see if anyone on here shares my opinon.

    I won't be listening to you CWadd despite your 'suggestions'.

    I would pefer acceptable practice at interviews, fair play and honest feedback. It seems I have a different definition of acceptable practice or even common courtesy than some others.

    It does not look odd to me or my friends and neighbours leaving a permanent post for supply if you know the facts. Facts I'm not typing on here.

    Thank you for all the feedback and sensible comments but I'm signing off this topic.

    I don't agree with much of what has been said in response, and I speak from personal experience not from google or otherwise.

    Ciao for now.
     
  13. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Several people have told you you have not been discriminated against. One of my suggestions was to listen to Theogriff. That is in your best interests, as she has helped numbers of people get jobs. But clearly you know best. Ciao!
     
  14. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I don't expect you'll revisit this thread, but I agree with all the posters that you have not been discriminated against.

    Both Theo and Middlemarch are very experienced Heads and you can expect other Heads to have similar views.

    It is just a very difficult situation for Jobseekers and actually it must be quite difficult for Heads and governors to actually whittle down those large numbers of applicants, most of which will fit the job spec and be eminently suitable candidates.

    Just keep trying. Wishing you well in your search.
     
  15. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Lara mfl - it is difficult. We had 60 applications for one post in our Faculty earlier this term. We whittled it down to four interview candidates - and It went to a candidate on UPS. We wanted someone who could maintain our good results. That's it. The best fit.
     
  16. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    I can see that you are still upset, and are not able to take on board the points that we are making.



    I am not so sure that you have, actually. Possibly shoddy practice, although that is not clear. But certainly not discrimination.

    They shortlisted you despite being more expensive. They didn't appoint you because you did not show, in interview and in the teaching, that you would be providing more for their money than a NQT. They did not appoint you because you did not show, in interview and in the teaching, that you would be providing more for their money than an internal candidate.

    It was up to you to prove that you were worth the extra money, that you would do more to raise and maintain standards than the other candidates, but unfortunately you didn't prove that.

    I am sorry for your disappointment, but this is not unfair practice nor discrimination.



    A school, of course, will not know what your friends and neighbours know, unless you tell them, briefly, in your application letter.

    Otherwise they will start asking questions to which you haven't provided answers.

    • Was Sonic sacked?
    • Did Sonic jump before s/he was pushed?
    • Did Sonic walk out in a huff?
    • Is Sonic a difficult colleague to get on with?
    Unless you tell them the situation, it is clear that they will be wondering why you left a secure post for the insecurity of supply, so a brief sentence - don't labour it - would be helpful for you to avoid them asking those sort of questions.

    I can understand that you feel annoyed, hurt, angry, upset, all these things. But the best thing to do is to be determined to do better in the next application and the next interview, to prove that you would be better, much better, than the other applicants - who may actually not be 60 but 100 or more in some schools.

    So start preparing now how to improve and rise above all the other candidates.

    Best wishes

    ___________________________________________________

    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, or in person at one of the TES Careers Advice Service seminars or individual consultations
     
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Or maybe the head was a bully and did not like someone - not the teacher's fault but the fact that some heads are bullies and use capability proceedings or the threat of such proceedings to get someone to leave - which then damages their career as it looks strange why someone has left.

    Believe it or not, heads do that. And who would stay and fight in such a position with the odds against you?

    It makes getting a post even harder when you've been bullied out.
     
  18. And then there was quiet.........

    Just when I thought the only explanations were what folks like to think should happen.

    Bad employment practice is going on.

    Someone else told me to write this...
     
  19. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Can I say that I don't know what you're saying here.
     
  20. plinth

    plinth New commenter

    I can sympathise. I left a full time pern post for supply due to bullying/ pickling off if staff. As did others at school. Reading other people's comments I guess I will never get a job again because they will assume if I left there's something wrong with me. I think you're right, I think (have seen) that some heads do not appoint fairly. This is clearly not statistically robust evidence, but I know someone who was appointed through a chat in the gym , and others who got posts through who they knew. I was NOT applying for those jobs myself, this isn't sour grapes. It happens. The OP seemed to just want to express her/ his feelings, and got a ton of advice about how she/he is probably just not good enough. Not what you want to hear when venting. Plus, I read the post as saying candidates were invited to interview then sent off without being then interviewed. If I read it correctly , I think that is totally wrong.
     

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