Getting your very first teaching job is a nerve-racking experience. There is a lot to think about and I am sure most NQTs feel worried, so its not just you.
The press are always reporting on increasing numbers of teachers and falling numbers of teaching positions. As an NQT you are faced with a number of worrying questions and concerns when job hunting.
Is there any work out there for NQTs?
If you are a primary NQT looking for a teaching job, whilst there are reports of growing numbers of teaching assistants and a reduction in staff leaving current posts there is a job growth in the primary sector. This is down to the growing numbers of primary places required. Set backs in budgets mean that schools have cut back their recruitment spend, however the recruitment industry has reported that these cuts have been in office and technical support staff and the senior leadership team. From a school's point of view recruiting NQTs is a very cost effective solution.
For secondary newly qualified teachers it is a bit more complicated. School roll numbers are falling in many parts of the country but even though teacher training numbers have been reduced there are still subject shortages in the core subjects. The TES also confirmed that decisions about public expenditure are likely to impact more on secondary schools than primary. However, one major advantage of being a secondary NQT is schools still have large numbers of pupils and if a teacher if abscent they can't cover it internally. This is great if you are looking to do supply teaching. Trainees in english, mathematics, physics and chemistry are likely to have the best possibility of finding a role this year. For those training in any of the other subject areas need to cast their nets much wider.
How do I find a job?
- Identify your requirements
Where do you want to work? Do you want to stay local or are you happy/want to relocate. How far could you commute everyday? What type or size of school do you want to work in? Which year groups or subjects do you want to teach? Would you consider taking a temporary position, especially if it could still mean you get your induction year complete?
- Get your details online
There are a lot of job boards online that will allow you to load your CV. This can then be searchable by prospective employers. You can also sign up to job alerts that get emailed to you daily or weekly, for example on TES Connect. You can also scan google for specific teaching jobs that are being advertised.
- Search regularly
New jobs are uploaded online every day by employers which means you need to actively look daily. On top of that regularly check the local paper, the Times Education Supplement weekly jobs paper and local authority websites.
- Word of mouth
Like many other industries its not what you know but who you know. Throughout your placements its vital you network with as many people as possible. Often schools fill their roles through recommendations at local schools. Some schools might contact a university direct to enquire about talented trainee teahcers. Get to know as many people from the educaiton sector as you can, this will increase your chances of being head hunted.
- Be proactive
What is stopping you from compiling a fantastic CV and covering letter and hand delivering it to the local schools in your area? The chances are you may even get a chance to meet with the head teacher. First impressions communicate a lot to prospective schools so make sure you are at your smarteset.
- Recruitment Agencies
Speak to as many recruitment agencies as you can but only sign up with 2 or 3. Make sure you pick an agency that is well renowned, perhaps recommended by someone. Don't hesitate to ask the agency the type of work they get, how many roles they have on, the number of teachers they work with, the successes they have had placing NQTs in the past. By drawing up a factual picture of that agency you can find the one that is most suited to you. Don't forget to choose an agency that will provide you support whilst doing your NQT induction year, perhaps even offer you training.
- NQT Pools
Finally, make sure you sign up to your local NQT pool in your area. They will inform all of the local schools in the LEA of the NQTs they have registered and get in touch with you about permanent positions.