My take on things based on experience (and talking honestly to heads)...Headteachers have different approaches to recruitment - some are fair. some are not, some play the game and get who they originally wanted, but are been seen to be advertising and interviewing fairly (...while wasting applicants' time). I personally think something has gone wrong in this country and we have trained too many teachers for jobs that aren't there - I trained in the 90's and have to say (at the expense of being shot down in flames) that I have met many teachers trained more recently who would not been up to scratch and would never have got a place on my PGCE (based on their ablity to teach rather than being experts at paperwork). NQTs are far cheaper than experienced teachers and usually ready to jump as high as told too, have the right jargon, will do any paperwork (no matter how pointless!) and not ask the questions. I also think that NQTs possibly across the last 10 years are used to the culture that seems to have developed of appointing for one year contracts or shorter, sometimes without pro-rated holiday entitlement, which is simply using teachers. In the last few years, after leaving my permanent contract to be a mum, I have been in many different contracted jobs so have had experience of many different heads who have been open and honest with me probably because I was on contract. I have been very lucky, falling into one job after another. A few years back I did a short stint of supply and was then asked if I could stay on permanently - the school advertised and interviewed, 4 other candidates were present but I was told not to worry the job was mine and that I just had to open my mouth and say anything in response to questions and things were apparently above board ---this was with a good head! The same thing has happened twice! I have turned up and asked heads for work in areas I have been interested and ended up with jobs on contract, without a formal interview - in fact, twice I have filled in the application form retrospectively. So. based on my experience, I am suspicious about the way teachers are appointed these days - maybe it has always been the same but not as noticeable as there seemed to be far less teacher trained and far less temporary contracts. Teachers have become very expendable, experience does not always count for anything and it does seem more important to be cheap.....I know of two schools that always 'seem' to appoint their NQTs (and know 2 of these NQTs are not very competent) and this is despite advertising, shortlisting and interviewing. I'm sure all heads do not do this, BUT I do think it is extremely common. Over the years I have noticed a pattern that many part time jobs, in particular are only advertised on the local governement job sites and have found out that schools in this area are obliged to do this - it is free so is really a formality for schools - I questioned a couple of heads about this and they confirmed that this did happen. So, I am in a position of returning to permanent work, almost wishing I had not given up my permanent position all those years back to be with my family more. The climate has changed significantly, there are far too many teachers about, and schools are more stretched than ever with budgets. On top of this, for my salary, I think the job has become more thankless, teachers are not respected by society, and schools are managed by many younger heads who have trained later than I did and therefore come from a different era of education which is guided by targets and value for money. I have always been considered a good teacher and years ago would have walked into a job. But not these days.....I sometimes wonder whether it is even worth remaining as a teacher. The impression I get is that many schools have handed over recruitment for long term temp contracts to supply agencies. I do know quite a few teachers who have then found permanent work via this route so this is the one I'm going down, so at least I am getting access to schools so that I can get myself known, and I can decide whether a particular place is for me. Anyway, this has turned into a bit of an essay. But, the general gist is that I do think that it is not unreasonable to be suspicious about teacher recruitment, based on my experience.