|Landing Your First Role As An NQT|
|If you are a student and are thinking about how to become a teacher, you can read our E4S guide for the different routes you could take to get into teaching so you can find teaching jobs in the future. Graduates who have decided a teaching career seems appealing may be trying to decide which route to take for how to become a teacher - the School Direct route or the PGCE route. If this is you, then why not read our in depth article, PGCE Versus School Direct to help you make a decision as to what is the best route for you based on the type of future teaching career you envisage.
The whole point of you doing a teaching course is, of course, so you can find teaching jobs in the future. If a teaching career has been an ambition of yours for sometime, then the chances are you chose to do your degree and Initial Teacher Training by doing a BEd or a BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) with QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). Over the course of the last three or four years, you may feel you’ve eased yourself into the world of education and being a teacher and during your final year, maybe you’ve even started to apply for full time teaching roles.
For those graduates who chose the PGCE or the School Direct route, things could possibly feel a bit more hectic as your course and Initial Teacher Training is a lot more full on. You have got much more to pack into one short year and that includes applying for jobs for when you are awarded your Qualified Teacher Status. If you chose the School Direct option, maybe you have already been told that you can stay on at your school as an employed teacher to begin your induction year as an NQT. But not all schools are in a position to offer these roles so if you don’t have a post lined up, you will be joining all the other recently qualified graduates in trying to find primary teaching jobs, secondary teaching jobs or maybe even nursery roles.
|When To Look For Teaching Jobs|
|Timetable Outline For Teaching Vacancies
After years of study and doing your Initial Teacher Training, you are going to be very keen to get started with your teaching career, to earn some money and get that induction year under your belt. The best way to do that is to make sure you don’t miss out on any teacher recruitment dates and also, if you are keen to work in particular area, make sure you have familiarised yourself with how that particular local education authority (LEA) recruits its teachers. Obviously, if you are prepared to travel a little out of your immediate area, you are going to increase your chances of landing your first teaching jobs for the start of the following academic year.
Teaching vacancies for the following academic year start to appear in the January so as you can see, if you are doing your initial teacher training via a PGCE or School Direct, you might feel like you’ve only just really started your programme and all of a sudden, you have to think about applying for your first role. No need to panic, however, as these are just dates to bear in mind to help you organise yourself.
January: Teaching vacancies and teaching pools for the following academic year begin to be advertised.
February - June: This is when you will start to see a more regular flow of teaching jobs being advertised because schools will be receiving resignations from existing staff who may be moving on to other schools for promotion or other reason.
April: As an NQT, this is the busy period where you are more likely to find vacancies that are suitable for you to apply for for your induction year.
Summer: If you haven’t managed to find any NQT jobs yet for the beginning of the school year in September, the key is not to panic. Teaching vacancies in schools crop for all sorts of reasons; not just official resignations or retirement. For example, schools find themselves in need of teachers when existing staff go off on maternity leave, are off on long term sickness and some teachers even take a sabbatical. These types of vacancies can crop up at any time of year and you can still begin your induction year as an NQT in long term roles such as this. So keep an eye out for those and you can also register with supply teaching agencies in the meantime. Lots of teachers secure full time roles, or at least get long term supply teaching jobs via this route.
|Where To Look For Teaching Vacancies|
|It’s possible to land NQT jobs via a variety of routes so there is a good chance you will be able to start your induction year as an NQT soon after gaining your Qualified Teacher Status. Teachers now have a period of five years to complete their induction so it is possible to do this via part time teaching jobs, too, if that suits you more.
Finding Teaching Vacancies Via Local Education Authorities (LEAs)
If you are keen to work for a particular local education authority, as mentioned above, make sure you are aware of their recruitment strategies for teachers well in advance. The recruitment process for Hampshire teaching jobs could be completely different to that for Gloucestershire teaching jobs for example. Particularly for primary teaching jobs, some LEAs have pools that you can apply to and recruitment for these is usually around January.
Local Education Authorities will also advertise their teaching vacancies online and many will state if the particular teaching jobs are suitable for NQTs. There will also be details of the particular LEA’s application and recruitment procedures so make yourself aware of those. Some Local Education Authorities also send vacancy bulletins out to schools on a weekly basis. If you are doing your initial teacher training in a school that is in an area where you want to teach, make sure you keep an eye out for the vacancy lists in the staffroom so that you can start the application process for suitable teaching jobs as soon as the vacancies are advertised.
Finding Teaching Jobs From Newspapers Or Publications
Another way to find teaching jobs is from newspapers and publications and most of these tend be online, these days, meaning you don’t need to go out and buy them. TES (Times Educational Supplement), as well as being packed with news around the teaching profession and offering valuable teaching hints and tips, has a complete section for teaching jobs. London, for example, as you might expect, has a whole variety of schools and teaching vacancies and needs to attract teachers of different specialisms from all over the UK. Supplements like the TES are useful for schools to get news of their vacancies out there. Of course, there are also teaching vacancies advertised from all over the country.
The Guardian is another newspaper which is useful for looking out for teaching vacancies, including for NQTs. They also have a very useful teaching hub for those studying teaching and looking to get their first NQT roles. It’s packed with helpful blogs and tips written by trainee teachers in the same boat as yourself
Find Teaching Jobs Through Supply Teaching Positions.
If you don’t manage to find suitable teaching jobs for the start of the following academic year, supply teaching can also be a good way to find teaching roles. For teachers in England and Wales looking to teach in state schools, you must complete your induction year but this does not mean supply teaching isn’t an option. Long term supply for maternity or long term sickness can go towards completing your induction. You have five years to do this so it is plenty time to make sure you get everything completed and passed.
Long term supply teaching jobs suit some teachers because it means the teacher gets to see a variety of schools and different school systems; and don’t forget, supply teaching can also lead to a permanent position.
To find teaching jobs through supply teaching, some Local Education Authorities have their own supply teaching pools which you can apply for and register with. These are good for getting your name out there so that when future permanent vacancies within that LEA do come up, you will hopefully be already known to the school - either in person or by reference - for all the right reasons.
Supply teaching agencies can also be a good way to find teaching jobs. If you have your own transport, they can be particularly useful in finding you teaching jobs that are slightly further away from home. Not all teachers like to work in their immediate local area; preferring a complete break between home life and school life. Supply teaching agencies can also be good for introducing you to a whole variety of schools which could give you some ideas of the types of environment you prefer to work in as you develop your teaching career.
Other Resources You Can Use To Find Teaching Jobs
If you are doing your Initial Teacher Training and qualifications at a university, keep an eye on their recruitment boards for teaching vacancies or for news of any upcoming teaching fairs, for example.
Also, never underestimate the power of networking. The teaching profession is also a community and fellow teachers will not want to see you out of work. Make friends with teachers, keep in touch with the schools where you did your initial teacher training placements and make yourself known to the schools in your local area. You’ll soon find fellow teachers will recommend you for supply teaching jobs or will let you know of any upcoming vacancies they know of.
And did you know, if you like the idea of teaching jobs abroad, it is now possible to do NQT jobs in British schools in other countries. People often think of teaching jobs abroad in the context of TEFL teaching jobs and other English teaching jobs but there are many overseas schools which use the UK National Curriculum. So international teaching jobs for NQTs are now a real possibility as long as the school is a member of a DfE accredited association. For teaching jobs abroad, check the publications mentioned above.
|Applying For Teaching Jobs - Give Yourself The Best Chance|
|So, you are brimming with enthusiasm, you have done your Initial Teacher Training and have come through it all unscathed. You have glowing references and you are armed with your Qualified Teacher Status. You know how to go about finding teaching vacancies - but what happens when you see the perfect teaching role for you? A job that is suitable for NQTs, a job that is in the area you want to work in, in a school you really like?
This next section is all about giving yourself the best chance of landing teaching jobs that you really want.
1. Visit the school
As soon as you see teaching vacancies that you are interested in, arrange a visit to the school, either by email or by phone, so that you can have a look around the different classrooms, speak with the headteacher about the role and possibly speak with some of the pupils in the school. If there is a lot of interest in the job, the school may arrange a set time and show you, along with other prospective applicants around the school as one big group.
You benefit from this because you get a feel for the atmosphere of the school and you get to see your ‘competition.’ Observe what’s going on around the school, ask questions and make a note of it later as you could always mention some of this to support your application.
You will also benefit because at least you bothered to show your face. The school could well receive lots of other applications from teachers who haven’t visited - there is a lot to be said for face to face meetings and a visit could put you ahead of the competition. Of course, a visit to the school could also change your mind about the role and if you decide not to apply, you will have saved yourself valuable time in concentrating on other applications.
2. Applying For Teaching Jobs - Study The Application Pack
While it would make life much easier, when applying for teaching jobs, one application does not fit all, unfortunately. When teaching vacancies come up, schools are looking for particular types of teachers with particular strengths. This could be strengths in certain subject specialisms or it might be a skill in dealing with challenging behaviour or children with different special needs.
Read the application form and all the supporting materials and ascertain exactly what type of teacher the school is looking for. This is going to be the basis of your covering letter. When the panel are reading through lots of applications, they don’t want to be reading through lots of irrelevant information.
And once you have done all that, don’t forget the basics. Look for the key relevant names. Who are you addressing when you write your covering letter? Make sure you know their position and also, make sure you know how to spell their name. This might sound really obvious but it’s amazing how often applicants get this wrong - if there is a lot of competition for the teaching job you are applying for, this can mean the difference between being awarded the job and not.
3. Completing The Application Form And Writing Your Covering Letter
When applying for teaching jobs, after reading the specifications for the role on offer, try to organise your covering letter so that it addresses what is in the job specifications. So this is not just a list of everything you have done in your Initial Teacher Training but also experiences you can draw on from elsewhere when dealing with young people. This could be from past jobs or voluntary work, too.
Once you have completed the application form and written your covering letter, ask someone to read through it for you. You will know from your university assignments as a student that even if you have checked and double-checked your work, it is very easy to miss mistakes in your own work. A fresh pair of eyes is invaluable.
Before sending off your applications and covering letters for teaching jobs, make sure you make a copy of them. This is useful in two ways. The first one is, even though we have just said above that ‘one application does not fit all,’ at least you have a rough outline of what you want to say with regards to your achievements and qualifications. It can be a good time saver for future applications if you are not successful on this occasion. The second reason is, if you are selected for interview for teaching jobs you have applied for, at this stage, it is because of what you have written in your application form and covering letter - and also, maybe you made an impression when you went for your initial visit to the school. If you are selected for interview, you will need to know what you said in your covering letter and you may need to expand on that, too. Especially for primary teaching jobs where there are usually less staff in the school, any impressive extras over and above your teaching qualification which you can add may help you stand out above the other applicants.
4. Interviews For Teaching Jobs
Interview panels for teaching jobs vary between different schools whether it is primary teaching jobs or secondary teaching jobs you are applying for. In the majority of cases, the headteacher will be present. Maybe there will be a head of year, head of department, or another senior member of the teaching staff. Sometimes, there are also school governors, teaching advisors and, if it’s a church school, the local vicar or priest may also attend the interview. You can expect questions from most, if not all, of the interview panel.
As well as your achievements, it will serve you in interviews to be able to drop in any recent changes in legislation or any developments related to your subject that you know of. Rather than do a crash course on this by trying to read up on everything all at once, try to make it a habit to dip into the TES or Guardian Education sections on a regular basis just so you have a broad understanding of what is current in the teaching and education world.
4i. Trial Lessons For Teaching Jobs
As well as your sit down interview, a number of schools will now also ask you to do a trial lesson with a class. This should not come as a surprise to you - meaning, the school should not just spring this idea on you as you are sitting in the interview. The trial lesson should be a part of the application pack so that you have enough time to prepare for the lesson, or part of a lesson. As someone who has just come out of initial teacher training and is comfortable with being observed on a regular basis, teaching a lesson or part of a lesson to get teaching jobs may not be too much of a problem for you. A teaching career is, after all, what you are aiming for.
Not everyone is lucky and is offered teaching jobs after their very first interview so it is important not to get downhearted when you are not offered an NQT post straight away. If you are offered a post, then perfect. You can begin your teaching career. If you are not offered the post, you will be given constructive feedback as to why this was the case. This should be constructive criticism and you can take it on board so that you can improve your interview technique for your next job application.
And once you are offered NQT jobs, your teaching career is well and truly underway. If you are in England and Wales and teaching in a state school, you will have embarked upon your induction year as a Newly Qualified Teacher. But wherever you are teaching and whatever type of school you are teaching in, it’s said that the decision to get into teaching means you are working in one of the most rewarding careers out there. Your first year as a Newly Qualified Teacher is just the beginning.
For initial teacher training and NQT jobs, UK countries have slightly different systems. For general information about initial teacher teacher training options, the teaching profession and what to expect from NQT jobs, you can visit the official government website: Get Into Teaching. To get into teaching for teaching jobs in Wales, visit the Teacher Training & Education In Wales website.
For information about how to become a teacher and find teaching jobs, Scotland has the Teach In Scotland website.
And for information about how to become a teacher and how to find teaching jobs, Northern Ireland has nidirect.