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Pictured right: Kate Earnshaw, Senior HR Business Partner at Pact HR

How to land your first teaching post this spring

Despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the arrival of spring heralds the start of one of the busiest times of year for teacher recruitment. Here, we look at some top tips to help classroom hopefuls in Bradford secure their first job.

The starting point for success in any job hunt is being on the front foot and ready to go when the right vacancy appears.

And with the busiest months for teacher recruitment in Bradford District being March, June, September and November, now is the perfect time to start thinking about ramping up the research and getting the preparation in place.

“We usually expect to see advert numbers start to grow from new year onwards, so that’s the time to start thinking about registering with an online jobs portal,” says Kate Earnshaw, Senior HR Business Partner at Pact HR, which also incorporates recruitment arm Prospects-online.

“It’s also when newly qualified teachers (NQTs) should start thinking about some of the practicalities, such as the type of school they might want to work in, where they want to live and how they’re going to commute in and out of work.

“I always advise people before they start pulling everything together to step back and really reconsider what made them want to be a teacher in the first place – it can help them be much clearer about how they’d like their journey to pan out.”

Things to consider when looking at vacancies, according to Kate, include the ethos of a school, together with its size, location and catchment area.

Looking up an organisation’s Ofsted Report or School Improvement Plan is also a good way to get a feel for a potential employer. Many schools will be happy for you to pay them a visit prior to submitting an application although the pandemic is presently making this much trickier.

“When it comes to the actual process of applying for a role, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the admin burden of filling in your personal details,” Kate explains.

“Our platform at Prospects-online, for example, lets candidates create their own profile that will then automatically populate most of the personal information required in an application.

“This is important because it will then allow them more time to focus on the all-important personal statement, which is where a teaching hopeful has the opportunity to sell themselves as an individual.

“This is one of the most important parts of the application process and it’s vital that personal statements are tailored to each particular school and that they cover all of the areas outlined in the job specification.”

If a candidate is successfully selected for interview, there a number of dos and don’ts to consider:

Always:

  • Remember to gather examples from your classroom and teaching experience to show how you meet a school’s selection criteria
  • Get up to date on current educational issues, such as safeguarding
  • Familiarise yourself with the national curriculum/early years framework and the relevant government guidelines for your age range and/or subject
  • Consider doing a practice interview with a teacher/school recruiter/careers adviser or university tutor
  • Prepare questions ready to ask them about the school/training/route you're applying for

Never:

  • Underprepare – interviewers will be able to tell
  • Criticise another school or institution
  • Downplay your achievements and remember that an interview is a dialogue
  • Forget to share examples of your teaching experience – you must be prepared to back up any statement with evidence

“It’s important to remember that the application process for classroom jobs is gruelling, regardless of whether it involves an NQT or a long-standing teacher looking for a new challenge,” says Kate.

“But it’s also two-way exchange designed to let a candidate scrutinise their prospective employer and find the right fit for them. The good news is that Bradford is such a rich and diverse place that there’s a school and community to suit every type of teacher.”

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My Post(64)

Pictured right: Kate Earnshaw, Senior HR Business Partner at Pact HR

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