The UK's official graduate careers website

Not signed up?


Teacher training : Getting a teaching job

If you're a newly qualified teacher (NQT) or about to qualify, you need to start applying for your first teaching job...

Where can I find a teaching job?

NQTs often find their first position in the school where they did their work placement. It's a good idea to get some advice from the teaching staff in the school(s) you have worked in. Many schools recruit teachers through local authorities (LAs) and you should contact LAs directly to find out if they are recruiting.

The following jobs and recruitment websites provide a range of services to help NQTs find a teaching post:

You will also find teaching jobs advertised in the national press. Look in the:

  • Times Educational Supplement (TES) - published on Fridays;
  • The Independent - published on Thursdays;
  • Guardian's Education section - published on Tuesdays.

Check your local press as some schools may prefer to advertise locally.

How much experience do I need?

You need to have some experience working with the age range you would like to teach, either through paid work or volunteering, for example:

  • lesson observations;
  • experience as a classroom assistant;
  • volunteering for holiday playschemes, summer camps and youth clubs.

You also need to gain some practical experience during your period of teacher training, depending on which route into teaching you have chosen.

See entry requirements for primary school teacher and secondary school teacher.

How do I apply for a teaching job?

Applications for teaching jobs are normally made through LAs. NQTs register with the teacher registration scheme and their information is made available to schools with vacancies. It is best to submit your application in the spring term.

Some schools will also advertise jobs independently, so send an application to the school, even if you have already registered with the LA.

The procedures vary between LAs and the details held are slightly different from the local authority teacher registration scheme. Some local authorities also use pool application systems; this is more common for primary school vacancies. Pool arrangements are usually advertised in December or January, check the LA for closing dates.

Some LAs will conduct a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check prior to making the applicant details available, others use a screening process to produce a list of approved applicants.

You may want to consider sending speculative applications but, before doing so, research the recruitment policy for the LA and the school. Be sure to tailor your CV to the particular school or local authority.

Teaching vacancies are usually advertised between January and May, so you will have a better chance of finding a teaching job around this time.

Search for teaching jobs.


Teaching CV

Photo: Teaching CV

A teaching CV should only focus on the qualifications and experience you have gained which are directly relevant to the post you are applying for, you should include:

  • teacher training qualifications;
  • relevant modules that apply to the post you're applying for;
  • briefly list other qualifications;
  • details of school experience;
  • any other teaching experience e.g. sports coaching, youth groups;
  • any voluntary experience;
  • any interests relevant to teaching e.g. leadership skills;
  • any skills that will be useful in the role e.g. IT skills, language skills;
  • details of two referees, both referees should know you through your teacher training or teaching practice.

For more information, see our example of a teaching CV.

To find out more about teaching, see teaching and education.


What can I expect in an interview for a teaching job?

Your personal or supporting statement will help you to match your skills to the vacancy. You will most likely be interviewed by a panel, you should provide evidence of your teaching experience where possible and make copies of everything you used to support your application:

  • examples of lesson plans and assessments;
  • samples of work produced by children you have taught;
  • research issues or development plans for the school you have applied to;
  • be aware of any changes to government policies relating to the education system;
  • prepare some questions to ask the panel; but make sure you don't ask a question that has already been discussed as part of the interview.

Some schools arrange for candidates to be interviewed by pupils or other teaching staff, try to answer questions in a relaxed and friendly manner.

You may be asked to deliver a short teaching session, but you will be briefed about this prior to the interview, so you will have time to prepare.

Above all, remember if you have been invited for interview, you meet the requirements for the role so you already have a great basis to build on. For more advice on interviews see interview tips.

Written by Editor, Graduate Prospects
September 2013

Spotlight on...

Sponsored links


This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.