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Where to pitch myself in my job search? Going from FE to Secondary

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by sunnyday2020, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. sunnyday2020

    sunnyday2020 New commenter

    Hi All,

    I'm confused about where to pitch myself in my job search. I'm so disheartened at getting turned down left right and centre for roles I feel that I must be doing something wrong. I want to work in an FE college or secondary school as an Art teacher, but FE jobs are thin on the ground so I've mainly been applying to secondary.

    I have a PGCE in the lifelong learning sector, qualified in spring 2019. I have around 3 years' experience teaching in my role as a Tutor Demonstrator (more workshop-style, not responsible for assessment) and 1 years' experience as a qualified sessional lecturer, both at an FE college.

    I have just completed my QTLS year and so I am exempt from completing an NQT year as a secondary teacher and I have the equivalent status to QTS, so I am fully qualified to work in secondary. Plus I have the bonus of a few years' experience behind me even though I am recently qualified.

    I have applied to around 20-30 roles and had 1 interview back which I didn't get the job for. It may not seem a lot of applications in the grand scheme of things but I take a while to write the applications in order to make them specialised to each school, so it is exhausting to get negative responses.

    I can't help the feeling that schools look at my application and think that I'm in too complicated a position to be placed. Or perhaps I am pitching myself too high?

    I would probably need a bit of training to transition into the secondary sector in terms of workplace practices, school policies and specification differences, but I don't see why I can't work in secondary. Or maybe I'm being too naive?

    I'm just so confused and don't know what step to take next. I'm not in a position in my current role to volunteer in a secondary school in September unless I go down in hours, but I can't afford to do this.

    On top of this, FE college jobs are sparse. I feel completely stuck!
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Well done for writing individual applications tailored to the school. So much better than a scatter gun approach of just the same old thing everywhere. So that's a good start.

    Are you also doing an E.S. ? Again, specific to the school, although often there will be overlap. Luckily, as they are very time-consuming, especially the first one you ever do! I have put in the TES resources a free blank one, to save you having to invent the wheel of formatted E.S. all over. Remember to put your name at the top, I have seen them without.

    I don't know if your qualification is in fact the same as QTS. And some schools may be unsure too. Are you making this clear in your application? Coming out and saying it in the letter or statement would be a good idea.

    As an Art teacher, what format is your portfolio taking? Nowadays it should be on-line, of course, with you giving the link in your application. But does it also include examples of work by students, not just your own? This is very important, i think.

    I am a tad concerned where you say that you will need training in specification differences. Nobody gives or gets training in that, it's something you need to do off your own bat. So get going on that, so that in an application you can mention that you are familiar with the specific specification that they use.

    Again, it is highly unlikely that you will be given training in workplace practices. Have you never been in a school since your A-levels, by the way, what workplace practices do you think there are that need training?

    School policies MIGHT give you some training, although usually just CP and safeguarding . Normally you are just pointed towards the files, online or in a folder.

    I wonder if this was part of the interview failure? Along with other points, it is essential that you can (a) recognise as such and (b) answer correctly the CP and safeguarding questions.

    Hope my little off-the-cuff analysis here is helpful. You have obviously been putting a lot of thought and effort into your applications, so having a few pointers for the direction this effort should take could be useful to you. Wanting more advice along the same line, try HERE.

    Best wishes
  3. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Some of the wrong answers to these amused me. Although we always told interviewees the correct answer for future reference.
    TheoGriff likes this.
  4. mrskittykat

    mrskittykat New commenter

    Dear Theo,

    I bought your book as a Kindle from Amazon for my PC and Ipad, excellent read, but none of the E.S images show, even Amazon can't help and they have had to raise a ticket

    Can you help Theo??
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    P.m. me your email and I'll see if I can find the images.

    No promises!
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I've just downloaded the book afresh from Amazon and it has all the images in, so the problem is not with the book as available.

    Have you tried deleting it and downloading again? But I'll look for the images on my other computer.

    Keep safe.

    EDIT Found them - send me your email!
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    @mrskittykat Amazon emailed me yesterday to say that somebody had said that the images were not in her copy, so they had made it temporarily not available; absolutely the right thing for them to do if the book wasn't up to scratch!

    I then downloaded the book myself yet again and got all the images, but nonetheless produced a new version and sent it to them yesterday afternoon.

    The book has been reviewed by Amazon, has been found to be OK, and is now again available HERE. So you can now download it again, for free of course since you already bought it.

    It shouldn't be a problem now, although why it suddenly was just for you (others have been downloading it OK, I understand, as I did), is something only your wifi provider could guess at! But if anyone else has had the same problem, Amazon now says all is OK.

    Best wishes, keep safe everybody
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Go for Supply / temporary or p/t posts initially and see if you can hack it in secondary. Schools don’t want the hassle and time of supporting someone with no recent secondary experience .

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