If you're a newly qualified teacher (NQT) or about to qualify, you need to start applying for your first teaching job...
There are also many alternatives such as:
If you haven't managed to get a job or, don't feel ready to commit to a full-time teaching role, then supply teaching is a good option. You will need to register with an agency and this usually involves submitting an application form or CV then meeting with a recruitment agent.
Supply teaching can be challenging but it can also be also a good way for you to get experience, try out different schools and pick up ideas. Ask around for personal recommendations of teaching agencies, look for ones which are strong in your area, or ask the schools you know. Using lots of supply agencies at once can be difficult to manage so consider starting with one or two agencies and if you decide you don't like one of them perhaps choose another.
It helps to be able to drive, but you don't need to, it will just limit the amount of work you can do. Agencies will either book you in advance or you will get an early morning call, around 8am. Clearly the more flexible you are the more work you can get. As you get to know them more, you can work with the agencies to tell them your preferences and strengths.
You should take work with you as a backup in case the school has no tasks prepared for you.
Most schools recruit through their own advertisements and selection procedures, the peak time for this is February and June, although more jobs may appear through the year and May 31 is the final date when teachers must resign if they are leaving their jobs in the summer.
Some local authorities run teacher registration schemes and databases which enable you to complete a single application form and register an interest to work in that area, possibly for a particular school. Registrations may open any time, commonly after Christmas for a September start date, check with your LA for details. Your information will then be sent to schools that are advertising vacancies.
Pool applications are similar to registration schemes, but the selection process may also be completed centrally. Commonly used for primary vacancies, schools select applicants from the pool list to interview. Again check with your LA for details of opening dates.
You may find it successful to approach a school speculatively, particularly if you have contacts with them.
This is where you can stand out from the crowd and get yourself shortlisted. Covering two sides of A4 it should demonstrate how and why you teach and who you are as a person. Always read the specification and target your personal statement to what they are looking for. You need to:
For more information, see our example of a school direct teacher training personal statement.
Prepare well for the interview by visiting the school beforehand, plan your trial lesson and don't panic, if they have invited you for interview you are a strong candidate. See teaching interviews to find out more about what's involved.
Visit your careers and employability service as they can help with application forms, interview preparation and they may well have a recruitment service with vacancies you can apply for.
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